It’s hard to feel guilty about impulse purchases from the Farmer’s Market. The problem is when you get home with your bounty you have to DO something with it, and there are only so many things you can DO with asparagus. Soup is a good thing to do with asparagus.
In the crisper were half of a red onion and some celery, a carrot (who has ONE carrot left?), and the aging asparagus. In the pantry were a small russet potato and a box of chicken broth. Other players? Olive oil, salt, and pepper.
The method and the madness:
Chop about 1/2 cup of onion, 1/3 cup of celery, and put them in a biggish pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Let this cook for 10 minutes over lowish heat until the vegetables are soft and just starting to think about turning golden.
Now chop the asparagus roughly – I had 10 ounces after cutting off the woody ends - and add it to the pot. Cook while you chop the potato. The potato must be a russet, as a waxy potato won’t give the correct final consistency. It was a medium sized potato - maybe 2 cups cubed? This goes in the pot as well. No need to peel. Same with the carrot.
Now it’s time for the broth. Your soup is only as good as the broth it is based on. Feel free here to pour in a quart of homemade. The rest of us will use our favorite store bought brand. BUT…please do your homework. Buy several different brands and taste them, slightly warmed, all alone. You should believe there was a chicken involved, there should not be any weird “off” taste, it should not taste like salt, and it definitely should NOT have a neon color. My personal favorites are Meijer Organic, Swanson (Organic or Natural Goodness), and Progresso. I buy whichever one is on sale. ANYHOW, add one quart of the broth you deem worthy to the pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and find something to do for 20 minutes. Now, take a knife and randomly poke and potatoes and carrots to make sure they are tender. All good? Get your immersion blender and process until smooth. You could use a blender if you had to, but that’s so messy… Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve hot, warm, or cold. In the picture I dropped in a hunk of goat cheese and it was quite nice.
Here’s the recipe for Fresh Asparagus Soup without all my commentary.
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