Bipolar weather here in Seattle has been making Spring a bit confusing and so soups and salads have been my go too lately. A cooler day outside last week had some friends of mine heading into Specialty's Bakery to have some Asparagus soup. I think it's her cravings...she's pregnant;) Mind you it sounded good to me as well but I am often turned away from buying soups out as I know:
A. they are so simple to make
B. they are cheap to prepare at home
C. they are usually full of fat and sodium unnecessarily and I can control all of that at home (you didn't think I was going to say don't have fat and salt right;)
However any indulging of asparagus soup for me was going to be from my kitchen. On the bus ride home I tried to stop myself from shifting in and out of my neighbors seat at every of the bus turn all the while searching my phone for a unique asparagus soup. Stepping off the bus, nose to my phone, I managed not to face plant myself into the cement and cough up bus fumes all at the same time. Impressed? By and by foodgawker, Pinterest, and other sites left me with a fat vs healthy soup dilemma. Which do I choose? I wanted both. There had to be a solution!
Walking home sweating in my overly dressed clothing attire...I told you bi-polar weather, I put the technology aside and went old school, with a book (one of my favorites) the Flavor Bible and searched for Asparagus...
Here is what I found:
Season: spring (check)
Weight: light-medium (check)
Techniques: blanch,boil, (check) deep-fry (yum, haven't done this one yet)....
- and then the flavors...almonds...
Almonds was the first one listed. I will admit I kind of have a crush on almonds, maybe because my guy eats those little slivers of goodness everyday in his cereal and well he started my love affair with food. Anyway crush aside, I had just bought some thai chili almonds from Trader Joe's. Hmm...
The brain began to process...the searching began...and I finally found a Thai asparagus soup recipe on food52. It sounded yummy and of course I would adapt it to what I had on hand and what my favorite thai flavors included. Cilantro,lime, chili, coconut...oh yeah this was going to be good.
Thankfully the bipolar weather continued for another day or two so I could continue eating it before switching out to salads for the sunshine, but if your weather is having trouble switching from spring to summer or in case your pregnant friend is craving asparagus this soup will hit the spot. Side note it is healthy and green and has the good fat, I didn't have to decide after all.
So what do you do with Asparagus besides make yummy soup? I promise I will share if you do;)
- 1 pound asparagus (a few tips saved) chopped into 1/2 pieces
- 1 bunch of spinach (washed and stems removed)
- 32 oz vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 jalapeno (seeds removed and white pith if you don't want it spicy)
- 1 small can coconut milk (unsweetened)
- handful of cilantro (lightly chopped-save some for garnish)
- 1 leek cleaned and diced
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 1-2 pinches of cayenne pepper
- Chopped almonds (Thai chili flavored if you have them or you can make them)
- cilantro lightly chopped
- 1/4 of lime to juice
- coconut slivers toasted (Optional)
- 2 to 3 asparagus tips (optional)
In a medium size a dutch oven or large sided pan heat oil and on medium heat add diced leeks and jalapeno cook until leek is transparent and jalapeno is lightly browned. Add a pinch of salt over vegetables
Add chopped Asparagus and saute with leek and jalapenos then add broth and cook at a simmer for 20-25 minutes then add spinach and allow to wilt and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add a pinch of salt in between each vegetable.
Turn off heat and with a hand blender puree until smooth. Turn heat back on to low and add unsweetened coconut milk and pinch or two of cayenne pepper. Stir and taste. Add salt to taste.
Pour into a bowl and top with asparagus tips, cilantro, almonds and coconut slivers. Add a dash of cayenne and lime juice.
Can't wait to hear how you liked it!? Comments loved below!
- Keep your asparagus in water as you would flowers and it will stay fresh
- If eating asparagus fresh break off the end by hand and use the woody stalk pieces for this soup
- Asparagus+lime+chili pepper are a flavor go too...
- Science and Asparagus...teach yourself for the next time your kid asks in front of your dinner guests, cause you know they will.... Why does Asparagus make my pee smell funny, mommy?"
- 10 reasons to eat Asparagus (as if you needed a reason;)
Enjoy no matter your weather!