By Rosie Hawthorne on April 16, 2020
It’s springtime and with Outer Banks weather being what it is and doing what it does – in the 70s and sunny one day, in the 50s and pouring the next – my asparagus is having a great time. It’s warming up in the garden, then having phenomenal growth spurts. April is the month of asparagus and I try to come up with all sorts of different uses for this versatile vegetable. Today, I’m going with a creamy asparagus soup. It’s light, yet satisfying, and perfect for a spring lunch. I’m making some Parmesan Rounds for crunch to accompany the soup, but your favorite croutons (preferably homemade) would work in a pinch. Add a mixed green salad and you’ve got an ideal meal.
In a medium pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add chopped asparagus, sliced mushrooms, and chopped onion. Sauté 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Remove mushrooms and just the asparagus tips and set aside for later.
Add in second tablespoon of butter and sprinkle in flour, stirring for a minute to cook the flour. Slowly pour in vegetable broth, stirring to thicken. (You can substitute chicken stock if that’s what you have on hand.) Reduce heat and cook at bare simmer, about 5 minutes, until asparagus is tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.
To purée the soup, I use an immersion blender as opposed to a countertop blender. There’s no easier way to get that creamy, luxurious texture than by immersion blending. The bladed wand goes directly into the pot with the soup mixture and you don’t have to ladle out the liquid contents into a blender jar and splash hot liquid all over the place or have steam blow the lid off. Another plus for immersion blending is that it saves on cleanup too – you don’t have another container to wash, just detach the wand and give it a quick clean up. Simply insert your immersion blender in the pot and blend away, moving the blender up and down and keeping it submerged until your mixture is smooth and consistent.
Stir in the cream, then taste-test, adding kosher salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. If you like, add in a half cup or so of frozen (not canned) peas and let heat through before serving.
For each round, grate 1 heaping tablespoon Parmesan cheese onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Press into a round about ⅛ inch thick. Bake in a 300° oven about 15 minutes until golden. Let cool. Serve with soup and/or salads.
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