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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring Spears

Dreaming about creaming up some asparagus from the garden? Those tender, leggy spears are just starting to pop from the ground. So if you have a hankering for a warm and creamy soup, here’s an easy recipe coming your way on this fine Thursday morning. You can patiently wait for your own to spring up or try the recipe this weekend with some asparagus from your local produce section. The hint of extra magic I added to this Victoria Island recipe: a splash of Dill and some grape tomatoes - all the wonderful things coming to your local farm stands or your own garden before you can say ‘Cream of Asparagus Soup!’

What you will need:

1 lb. asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths (use the stalks)
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. each butter and flour
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup cream
Pepper to taste
Sour Cream
Sprig of Dill
6 to 7 grape tomatoes
Serves 4

Here’s what to do:
Sauté onion and butter for 3 minutes. Stir in flour. Add chicken broth slowly. Add asparagus, grape tomatoes and a small bunch of Dill. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until asparagus and tomatoes are tender. Puree mixture until smooth. (Hint- the easiest tool to puree soups is with a hand puree tool – the Braun immersion blender is a nifty gadget –another hint *(great, inexpensive Mother’s Day gift.) Okay, back to the recipe. Puree mixture until smooth. Add cream and pepper to pureed soup. If you needed to use a food processor, you may need to reheat the soup. For those who really like dill, you can serve with a pureed dill and sour cream for the top of your soup. I use one of those small grinders to puree the dill (1 or two sprigs) to mix the sour cream so it blends equally with the dill. (For a serving of 4 use approximately four tablespoons of sour cream.) This recipe does call for salt but I bypass the sodium. The chicken broth adds a sufficient amount of flavor. Serve this soup with a fresh garden salad and a hunk of crusty bread and it's all you'll need for keeping a full stomach while tending to those outdoor chores.

So score big in the soup department with this tasteful recipe and get those veggies snuck in with a hint of cream. It's time to get the recipe box chock full of delicious ways to serve up your freshly grown produce. Want to substitute the asparagus? Broccoli comes first to mind but get creative. And As Moliere, that French playwright and actor that probably knew everything about food said, “I live on good soup, not on fine words.”

The sprouting asparagus image is from the Internet; I couldn’t get my darn Blackberry to give me a clear enough shot. And my camera man – unavailable. But the spears are sprouting in the garden, that’s for sure.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)