Asparagus and Ginger Soup.

A new twist on a classic soup.  Asparagus makes great soup: when you blitz it in the blender it goes so very silky and smooth, it’s like a green velvet nectar, and hopelessly moreish….

You can use stumpy old asparagus for soup (you know the ones I mean 🙂 ), and keep the young fresh spears for a more delicate dish.  In fact I think that the fibrous fat asparagus spears add an extra creaminess to this soup.

I’ve put a bit of a fusion twist into the flavourings … ginger …tamari ….and lemon juice.  With an entirely optional extra of garlicky croutons. 🙂

This soup still relies on salt and pepper to really bring out the asparagus flavour …and when it’s the moment to season it, it’s important to do it bit by bit, tasting as you go, as it’s very easy to over salt, but equally possible to under salt….

A word for salt: I love salt and it enhances and improves so many flavours I find it an essential ingredient, but if you’re in doubt about your salt intake, try Himalayan Salt, which seems to be the best of all salts.  Try googling it … there’s lots of info. to be found.

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ASPARAGUS AND GINGER SOUP + GARLICKY CROUTONS

for 3-4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 400gms. asparagus
  • 1 medium onion approx. 150gms.
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 large potato approx. 300 gms.
  • approx. 35gms. fresh ginger
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbs. tamari
  • 1 – 1.5 tsps. salt
  • 0.5 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 800ml. water
  • optional: 100ml. non-dairy cream (e.g. oat or soy cream)

METHOD:

  • Wash asparagus.
  • Peel and roughly chop onion.
  • Wash, trim, and finely slice celery.
  • Peel, wash and dice potato into small cubes.
  • Peel and slice ginger.
  • In a large deep-sided pan, on a medium-high heat add 2 tbs. olive oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and sliced celery.
  • Sauté for 3 mins.
  • Add diced potato and sliced ginger to the pan.  Sauté for 3 mins.
  • Add 800ml. water to the vegetables and bring to the boil.
  • Cover, and simmer for 10 mins.
  • Add washed asparagus, re-cover, and simmer for 10-15 mins. until asparagus is tender.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 mins.
  • While still hot, transfer the vegetables and cooking water to a blender and blitz until smooth.
  • Add 1 tbs. tamari, juice 1/2 lemon. Blitz briefly on pulse.
  • Add salt and ground black pepper bit by bit, blitz and then taste as you go.
  • When it tastes good to you, return to the pan and leave covered, off the heat, for at least 20 mins. (or all afternoon if you prefer) to allow the seasonings to infuse.
  • Cook’s note: This soup really doesn’t improve with excessive cooking.  It just needs re-heating 10 mins. before serving.
  • Reheat gently, adding optional non-dairy cream 3 mins. before serving.  Allow the cream to warm through without boiling.

Serve immediately with optional croutons…

Croutons:

  • Slice or cube slightly stale bread.
  • Peel and crush 3-4 garlic cloves.
  • Mix crushed garlic with 2 tsps. olive oil and 0.5 tsp. ground black pepper.
  • In a wide pan on a high heat, add 2-3 tbs. of olive oil.
  • Add the bread and sauté until golden.  Turning occasionally.
  • Add the crushed garlic/pepper about half way through cooking, and toss the crispy bread in the garlic.

Eat immediately 🙂

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Bon Appetit

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Thanks to my friendly neighbouring allotmenter, I’ve had a fabulous asparagus week : with nearly 1 kg. asparagus completely free..

and here’s what I did with the rest:

(click images for link)

spinach and mushroom cannelloni in an asparagus sauce

asparagus and aubergine tempura + a dipping sauce

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hope you enjoy as much as I have

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Peace

La Paix

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