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Spring Asparagus Soup

In Germany, spring signifies: Spargel Zeit (Asparagus Time). Every restaurant menu has dishes focused on asparagus. However, it is white asparagus, not green. While we wait all winter long for the first glimpses of green asparagus at the farmers market, its pale sibling, white asparagus, does not get the same fanfare here as it does in Europe. 

The difference? White asparagus is grown underground. That keeps the asparagus from turning green. White asparagus has a more delicate, sweet flavor than the green variety. The delicate flavor is why it's so prized in Europe. The short-lived white asparagus season inspires the same frenzy in Europe as ramps do in the U.S.

Spring Asparagus Soup

You can use either white or green asparagus in this soup. 

  •  2 lbs. asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces (peel if using white asparagus)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh chives
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Sauté onion in melted butter for 3 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of asparagus tips. Sauté remaining asparagus, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in the butter and onion for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and simmer for 30 minutes. While you are simmering the soup, boil a small pot of well-salted water and blanch the asparagus tips for one minute. Drain water and shock asparagus tips with cold water.

Puree soup in two batches. If you like it chunkier, puree it less.  Put soup into a clean pot and add cream, a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper to taste.  Garnish with asparagus tips and chopped chives when serving.

And if you’re looking for a treat, I would also like to mention that our Banana Nut Bread is wonderful toasted and spread with butter!!