The best way to make asparagus soup is to keep it simple. Four ingredients and a food mill is all you need. I use a chicken stock since it complements the light, delicate flavour of asparagus. If you buy asparagus from the market you may find the farmer or trader has sorted some of the fatter, bent and otherwise ugly spears from the more elegant, pristine ones and is selling them at a cheaper rate since they are too fibrous and woody to eat as a vegetable. These are real stars – packed with flavour and cheaper than the show models. Last week 1 kg of asparagus cost EUR 10 – but 2 kg of the woody, fatter spears cost only EUR 6. As is usual with soup recipes I don’t give exact measurements and amounts. Decide how much you need for the people you are preparing the soup for. Any uneaten soup can always be frozen.
Older asparagus being sold off cheaply
Salt and Pepper
Fry the onion in a good pat of butter until the onion has turned a lovely translucent colour. Don’t be shy on the butter – it adds an abundance of flavour and is packed with natural fat soluble vitamins that help us metabolise the vegetables nutrients.
There is no need to peel the asparagus – just give them a rinse under cold water and cut into roughly 3 cm. size pieces. When the onions are translucent add the cut asparagus to the soup and coat in the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer in the butter on a low heat for 1-2 mins. If you want to add potatoes for a thicker soup. Add the chicken stock and leave to simmer for as long as it takes to soften the asparagus – anywhere from 30 -45 minutes.
When the asparagus has softened blend the vegetables with a hand-held blender. Pour the soup through a food mill – this is excellent at removing any fibrous, woody bits.
Sprinkle the soup with chives and serve with either some fresh or soured cream.