“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Warming the Soul

When the weather here suddenly went from hot and humid to cool, damp and rainy, I decided to substitute my asparagus frittata for a hot asparagus soup. There's nothing I love more when it's cold than hot soup to warm my body and soul and this one does it in a way that is also nutritious. Many of the recipes I’ve come across use butter and either cream or milk, but I experimented without the dairy and the result was a light and surprisingly flavorful, creamy soup with only a few simple ingredients:

Creamy Asparagus Soup

1 medium onion, chopped;

1 pound fresh asparagus, washed and woody ends removed;

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes;

4 – 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, simmering

fresh ground pepper and coarse salt to taste

In a medium, heavy saucepan, sautee onions over medium heat until translucent. Meanwhile, chop asparagus stalks into 1-inch segments, setting aside the tips. Add all but the tips to the pot of onions and continue to cook for another three to five minutes. Add chopped sweet potato and pepper, stir well, and cook a few minutes more. Slowly add enough simmering broth to a height one to two inches above vegetables (~four to five cups). Raise heat, bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook uncovered until sweet potato is soft. Remove from heat and stir to cool slightly. Very carefully add mixture to blender and blend until smooth. Pour back into pot, add reserved asparagus tips and simmer for five minutes. Season with additional pepper and/or salt to taste. Makes 2 – 3 servings.

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