Friday, March 26, 2010

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Grilled Asparagus

The name of this recipe is a bit of a puzzle, if you ask me.  There is buttermilk in this soup, but it doesn't make it creamy so much as give it a silky texture and a bit of a tang that you can't quite place.  The asparagus tips that provide the garnish are, I suppose, technically skillet-grilled, but really seem to be more fried to me, to the point that they are delectably crispy and deeply flavorful.

But whatever you call it, this is a delicious and fresh soup that showcases the bounty of early spring.  Asparagus is everywhere you look right now, and it's time to put it to work.  This soup is easy, quick, and has only a handful of ingredients.  I wasn't a fan of asparagus until the past couple of years, but I find that recipes like this one are exactly what asparagus is born for - to stand out as the star of the show, rather than to adorn a plate as a mere side.

Try it out and see if you agree!

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Grilled Asparagus
adapted from the Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern
serves 2


1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends discarded
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
fresh ground pepper to taste


1.  Cut the asparagus spears into 3/4 inch pieces.  Reserve about half of the tips and set aside.

2.  Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium pot and season with about 1/4 teaspoon salt.   Add the asparagus pieces (except the reserved tips) and onion and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender.

3.  While the soup simmers, heat the oil in a small skillet until smoking.  Add reserved asparagus tips and remaining salt, and fry (or pan-grill), refraining from stirring them more than every minute or so, until browned in places, about 3-4 minutes.  Set on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

4.  Puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or using an immersion blender.  Return to the pot and stir in the buttermilk.  Bring to a simmer and season with pepper.  Serve garnished with the pan-grilled asparagus tips.


1 comment:

  1. WONDERFUL! Asparagus in any form is a favorite in our house. Thanks. :-)