May 14, 2010

Cream of Asparagus


When it's spring, eat asparagus.

Cream of Asparagus
adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

3 T butter
1 1/2 c coarsely chopped shallots (about 6 large)
1/2 t dried thyme
1 t caraway seeds
3 T all-purpose flour
3 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into one inch pieces.
1/3 c heavy cream
2 to 3 T fresh lemon juice
salt (optional vegetable soup base)

If your asparagus is at all tough or stringy, peel a layer off with a vegetable peeler. Learn how to trim and peel asparagus.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. add the shallots and thyme, cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, stirring constantly until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Add the asparagus and 6 cups of water. season generously with salt or add a vegetable soup base, according to package directions. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer until asparagus is bright green and just tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Fill blender only half full and cover hole in lid with dish towel so steam can escape. (Or use an immersion blender, which is what I did.)

Want to freeze it? This is when you'd do that. Leave out the cream and lemon juice for now. Cool to room temperature. Freeze for up to two months. Let thaw to room temp. Gently heat and then stir in remaining ingredients.

If you want to eat now, go ahead and stir in the cream, lemon juice and caraway seeds.

Enjoy!

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