Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Fresh asparagus from the farmer's market...yummy! We don't have a ton of asparagus growing here, but there was plenty to buy at the farmer's market this last weekend. It was hard to believe that summer is around the corner because Saturday at the market it was about 42 degrees and windy and rainy. Terrible weather, but the little girl and I buzzed through, got some asparagus and spinach and were on our way (we found some kolaches too-poppyseed, my favorite!).

I found this tasty recipe at Hobbyfarms.com which is a magazine we've been picking up more often lately. I had all the ingredients at home and I thought it would be a new way for me to use asparagus in the kitchen. It was really, really good!

Cream of Asparagus Soup
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut in 1" pieces (set tips aside)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 T. butter
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream (I used 1/2 cup milk and 1 T butter)
1 1/2 T. flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp paprika
pepper to taste

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add onions and celery and saute over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add chicken stock and asparagus stalks. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 1/2 hour, until stalks are soft. Remove from heat and process in batches in blender; return to saucepan and set aside.

In a small pan, combine milk and asparagus tips. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until tips are tender; remove from heat. Strain tips, reserving milk; set tips aside. Using a small whisk, combine flour with reserved milk to make a roux, whisking until there are no lumps. Return saucepan with blended asparagus to medium heat, and when steaming, add a small amount of asparagus mixture to the roux and mix well.

Gradually add tempered roux to saucepan, stirring constantly. Add cream, salt, paprika and pepper; blend well. Heat until soup thickens slightly, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add asparagus tips, heat another 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat. Serve immediately, topped with croutons or a dollop of sour cream.

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