What with our guest contributors beating us to the punch and declaring it official Soup Season, we decided to hurry up and follow suit. Unfortunately, some of us don’t have foggy Tolkien-esque mountain fjords abloom with woody fungus bounties, so we had to make due with just pillaging our SoCal farmers markets. We came up with asparagus. Mixed with potato and a little soy milk, this soup is a little more asparagus than cream, which is how we like it. An “alternate ending” using a simple vegan roux could rule too though.
Creamy Asparagus Soup
12 oz. asparagus (two small-sized bunches)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 white onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium-sized potato
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary (half if dried)
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
4 cups mushroom stock
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water (2 Tbs. salt) to a rolling boil. Cut off the base ends of your asparagus spears and then add all spears to the water for 30 seconds to 1 minute — just enough to soften and greenify ‘em. Fish them out and rinse with cold water.
2. Peel your garlic but don’t chop! Put your soup pot on medium heat, add olive oil and once hot, toss in your garlic cloves. There should be enough oil to half submerge them. Turn heat to low if sputtering, and let roast for 15 minutes. Then remove cloves, set aside and use remaining oil.
3. Toss in your chopped onion and celery. Let cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Finely chop the cooled asparagus, saving the 1-inch tips for later. Add asparagus to the pot. Dice your potato into chunks and add to the pot along with rosemary and cayenne pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
4. Add the mushroom stock (we like Better Than Boullion) but make sure it’s room temperature or hot — never fridge temp, or it’ll cool your pot. Bring back to a rolling boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes.
5. At this point, it’s time to blend and creamify. Turn off heat for a few minutes to cool. Then add soup (in increments if you have to) to your cuisinart or blender. Pulse for a few seconds, until thoroughly blended. Return to your pot.
6. The potato will add a mild congealing effect but you’ll have a slightly soupy texture still. If that’s fine, just add your luke warm soy milk to pot and stir. (Alternate ending: If you’d prefer an extra creamy texture, simply make a small roux out of margarine and flour in a small sauce pan. Once mixed add your soy milk and stir. Continue from here by adding this cream roux to your pot.)
7. Bring blended soup up to a rolling boil again and throw in your asparagus spears, saving a couple for garnish. Stir and serve.
Beverage: Green Flash’s Tripple Belgian-style
Soundtrack: Burning Spear’s “Down By the River”