Updated: Apr 14, 2021
For years I have ventured into Michigan to asparagus farms for the first cutting of the season. Truly a road worthy adventure. Michigan’s soil is perfect for asparagus: sandy, loamy and ideal for seasonal beds of cultivation. The farm I go to has nicked named me “The Sparrow Grass King” due to the years of making the seasonal trip.
There are records showing that asparagus grew over 2000 thousand years ago in ancient Greece. It was so revered that it was offered in rituals to the gods. So, with that I offer up my Cream of Asparagus Soup Recipe to the Kitchen gods for a true taste of spring!
Cream of Asparagus Soup
6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil 2 lb. fresh asparagus, well rinsed, trimmed of tough ends, and diced into 1/2-inch pieces 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced fine 1/4 cup white wine 4 cups of chicken broth 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 4 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon salt Ground black pepper to taste 2 cups half and half 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Garnish Ingredients: 3 to 4 stems of asparagus per serving 1/4 cup olive oil to dress asparagus Kosher salt to taste
For the Soup In a large, deep saucepan, add the oil, then the garlic and onion and cook over medium heat. Sauté until translucent. Then add the asparagus and sauté until the asparagus is tender. Add the wine and stir until the liquid is evaporated. Add two cups of the chicken stock and simmer about ten minutes. Using a food mill, blender, food processor or immersion blender puree the vegetables and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until melted and stir in the flour. Make a roux by stirring continually (I use a wooden spoon.) for 2 to 3 minutes until the roux has turned to a golden brown and is pulling away from the sides of the pan. Add the salt and pepper. Whisk in the remaining chicken broth. Increase heat to medium. Cook, stir continually until the mixture boils. Stir in the vegetable puree and half and half then let the soup heat up again turn to low to keep warm.
Place the sour cream in a small bowl and stir in a bit of the hot chicken broth. Then add the sour cream mixture and the lemon juice back into the soup. Stir while heating the soup to serving temperature. Do not boil.
For the Garnish:
Set oven to 400 degrees. Trim bottoms of asparagus, and wash and drain well. Place olive oil on a cookie sheet with sides and toss asparagus in the olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake until tender.
Pour the soup in warmed bowls, place the roasted asparagus on the bowl rims and serve.