The Soup Blog
Recipes, Culinary Insights & Humor Spooned Up Fresh Every Week…………………(Now in its Ice Cream Phase)
Not Just Another (A)side Dish: Cream of Asparagus Soup
Categories: Asparagus, Dairy, Vegetarian

Enough With the Parentheses Already!

I was looking through the blog archives this week (Oh, the memories…) and discovered that I’ve categorized twenty-two of my thirty soups as vegetarian.

(Sorry, I haven’t gone so far as to classify which are vegan (some), or ovo-lacto vegetarian (most), or even pesco-vegetarian (none, yet).  Please bear with me.)

Now, before you start asking questions about my hidden vegetarian agenda (Don’t ask, don’t tell), my closet MBA aspirations (Statistics show that 22/30 = 73.3%) , or my obvious preference for the underdog (Must vegetables forever be just side dishes?), please know that the reason I have made so many vegetarian soups is simple:

I like vegetables.  (Except for eggplant, see Ratatouille Soup.)

Maybe it started as a way to differentiate myself.  None of my other siblings would eat Brussels sprouts, so I became the designated sprout guy.  Ditto with the pickled beets that came in every salad at Woody’s Smorgasburger. The rest of the vegetables just fell in line. Ironically, it took me a long time to learn to like mushrooms, because everyone else liked them, and I still don’t care for melon, but you get the point.

(You don’t?  Um, it has to do with identity development or something.  Check out Erikson, no, not that one, this one.)

Perhaps I like vegetables because they’re more of a challenge to cook.  Proteins, which I also love, have all that delicious fat built into them, so making them flavorful isn’t all that difficult. Vegetables, on the other hand, are mostly just carbs and water, so you’ve got to coax the flavor out of them.

(Of course, if you’re lazy, you can also just add dairy products. (See ovo-lacto-vegetarian, again.))

Truly, though, the reason I make so much vegetable soup is that the produce section at the supermarket is constantly changing  and that newness tends to catch my eye.  Like so many others in this country, I’ve got the attention span of a gnat (You think!), and the shiniest thing I see at the store draws me in. (Next week: Ball of Foil On A String Soup.)

This week it was the asparagus.

(Cream of Asparagus, actually. I was feeling a little ovo-lacto-lazy this week.)

I brought it home, cut off the ends and the tips, chopped up the remainder of the spears and sautéed them up in a pot with a little olive oil.  Once the asparagus got a little color, I added stock and  seasoning and let it simmer for a bit.  Then I got out the immersion blender to make the mix nice and smooth, added the asparagus tips and half & half, cooked it a while longer and the soup was done.

(And I’m not ashamed to say it was done well, parenthetically speaking, of course.)

Cream of Asparagus Soup
(serves 6-8)
1 ½ lbs asparagus spears
1-2 T olive oil
6 cups vegetable stock
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup half & half

  1. Cut off the fibrous ends of the asparagus and discard.  Cut off the asparagus tips and set them aside.  Chop remainder into small pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a 3 quart stock pot, add chopped asparagus and saute over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add stock and seasonings, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Puree the soup with a bar or immersion blender.
  5. Add half & half and reserved asparagus tips to the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.

Image Credit:Asparagus in Parentheses by the author. (Is there such a thing as overkill?)

Individual asparagus stalks are called “spears”.  Leaves of grass are called “blades”.  You can probably think of lots of vegetable weapons you’d like to use on me after this week’s post.  Please restrain yourselves.  Unless, of course, you’d like to make a comment.  In which case I’ll be reading and responding.

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