So...exactly 34 days ago, I proclaimed that it was the end of soup season here on Unwritten Recipes—that we were finally done with winter (no matter what the actual temperature and weather conditions were) and were going to focus on lighter, more seasonal, warm-weather fare. So why do I have the gall to post a recipe for asparagus soup today? Am I just trying to push the envelope and test all of your collective blog-reading patience? Do I simply have a rebellious streak in me? Maybe. Or could it actually be because this Springtime Asparagus Soup is so darn good that it’s worth risking the wrath? Taste for yourself and see, I dare you! Hmmm...maybe there is a little bit of the rebellious in me after all. Look, there I am in the spoon!!
If you’re an asparagus lover, you’re in heaven now because it’s everywhere! I've got quite a few asparagus recipes here on the site that you might not remember or know about, like this Stir Fried Sesame Asparagus, Fettuccine in Lemon Cream Sauce with Asparagus, Chicken, Asparagus and Tomato Roll-ups and "No-Crust" Asparagus and Feta Quiche for your dining pleasure. There's even one for Roasted Asparagus Soup but I now prefer this new easier and more healthy version which is just as creamy and delicious but actually cream-free. Instead of cream, you add rice to the mixture and use an immersion blender to purée the whole thing (please tell me you have one—it makes your life so much easier!!) so you wind up with a velvety smooth texture that’s immensely satisfying. And you could totally stop there and it would be great, but if you’ve got any creme fraiche on hand and add in a couple of big dollops—well, there are no words for the rich yumminess that will wow your tastebuds! Plus there's that fun swirl thing!
And if you're still wondering about the wisdom of making soup in mid-April, how about the fact except for a brief flirt with springtime temps over the weekend, here in the Northeast, it looks and feels like the middle of February, which in my book means that it's still SOUP TIME!! Join the rebellion, people and start making soup--lots and lots of soup!!
Springtime Asparagus Soup
Makes 4 servings
You will need an immersion blender or food processor or blender for this.
Prep Time: 15 minutes: Cook Time: About 30 minutes
- 1 ½ pounds asparagus, tough ends cut off, roughly chopped up
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2-3 shallots, chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup long-grain white rice, raw
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche, divided
- Minced fresh chives or scallions for garnish (optional)
1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat until very hot and add shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often until softened. Add in asparagus and cook for another minute or two, stirring. Then add chicken stock, salt, pepper and rice and bring mixture to a simmer. Then cover pot and cook for about 20 minutes more, until veggies are completely tender.
2. Use an immersion blender to carefully purée the soup until smooth (or purée in batches in a food processor or blender.) Whisk in ½ cup creme fraiche. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle into bowls and add a little dollop of remaining creme fraiche to each bowl. It’ll look pretty if you swirl it around. Serve immediately.
3. Like pretty much all soups, this reheats well. Store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from Sunday Soups by Betty Rosbottom.