I already talked about my love of asparagus a few posts back, and promised recipes featuring white asparagus. While I intended to start with another recipe (for grilled white asparagus), I ended up feeling like Cream of Asparagus soup for a light Sunday lunch today. It’s one of the few ways my husband enjoys eating this vegetable – and asparagus season won’t go on forever, so I feel he should indulge at least once. Thus, a recipe for Cream of Asparagus it is for the blog.
For this recipe I consulted with “Deutschland Vegetarisch”, a really gorgeous cookbook with traditional vegetarian recipes from Germany and sister cookbook of the original “Österreich Vegetarisch”, which my cousin kindly gifted me with for Christmas 2012. The first recipe in “Deutschland Vegetarisch” is a cream of asparagus, and I stumpled upon it while finding a recipe to send to a friend. Their recipe features chervil and a quarter liter of whipping cream as well as a good glass of white wine.
I adapted the recipe using fresh sage and oregano from our terrace and less than 100 ml whipping cream. It’s a shame, but I didn’t have any white wine at my disposal, rest assured the soup was truly delicious nonetheless. You can make this soup in a vegan version, using margarine or vegetable oil instead of the butter, and a vegetable-based cream (e.g. made from rice or soy) instead of whipping cream.
For preparation, I recommend using an asparagus peeler. Actually, my vegetable peeler is an asparagus peeler. It’s so much quicker and renders finer results. We had one like these (in red) in our kitchen while I grew up. My mom bought me my own (in white, pictured) a few years back. My asparagus peeler and I have had a good working relationship, except for the couple of times when I almost lost some finger tips due to slicing pumpkin while talking on the phone and being distracted as a consequence. It’s a risk of the cooking trade, I guess.
This recipe can serve four as an appetizer, or two as an entire meal. You can also make this soup using green asparagus, perhaps adding some potatoes to create a bit of a smoother flavour.
800g white asparagus
1,5 l vegetable broth
75ml whipping cream
1 onion, 1 shallot
1 generous chunk butter
1 tbsp gluten-free flour mix
a few sprigs of oregano, four sage leaves
oregano sprigs (for decoration)
Wash the asparagus and peel them well using a vegetable peeler, saving the peel. Cut the asparagus in half.
Place the asparagus peels into a large pot, add the asparagus and cover entirely with vegetable broth. Cook for about quarter of an hour, until the asparagus is tender. Take out the asparagus slices and throw away. Take out the asparagus halves, place them on a plate and set them aside.
Peel the onion and the shallot, chop them up roughly. Heat the butter in a second (smaller) pot, and fry the onions for a minute. Add half of the asparagus (using the lower part of the asparagus; saving the asparagus heads), the roughly chopped sage and oregano leaves and then the whipping cream.
Cover with 750ml of the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Place the tablespoon gluten-free flour in a small cup, add some vegetable broth and mix until no lumps are left then slowly whisk into the soup. Keep boiling. Your soup should now be fragrant, somewhat thick and very smooth. Puree soup using a hand-held blender. Add the remainder of the asparagus (the asparagus heads), bring the soup to a boil.
Serve the soup hot, each plate decorated with a sprig of oregano.
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