Asparagus Soup

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Asparagus soup – one of my favorite meals as a child!  Strange, I know, but there is story behind it.  When I was 4 years old, my dad would sometimes watch me in the mornings while my mom attended school in the mornings.  I can remember my dad “attempting” to pick out my clothes, brushing the tangles out of my hair, and giving me messy ponytails.  He coached me on how to tie my shoelaces by having me practice tying bows on one of my dresses over and over again until I had it just right. My dad also encouraged me to practice reading by singing on the karaoke machine and flipping through our many volumes of the encyclopedia.  One day, I asked him to build me a tree house, and without saying a word, he stuck a cigarette in his mouth, and built the tree house.  I felt like a lucky girl!  I had my dad’s undivided attention (I am the youngest of 6 girls) and I could be a daddy’s girl for once.

Since all of my sisters were in school at the time, he’d usually take me out for lunch at Jimmy’s Restaurant. My dad always ordered me a big bowl of soup and after trying all of Jimmy’s soups, my favorites were the asparagus and the clam chowder.  I distinctly remember my dad noticing that I favored asparagus soup so after a while he only ordered me the asparagus soup.  I didn’t mind.  I loved  asparagus soup with 2 packs of saltine crackers on top.

Little did I know, the main ingredient in the soup was good for me.  Asparagus has tons of benefits!  The goodness is in the stalk, which is rich in B vitamins, known to regulate blood sugar levels; it is also a good source of Vitamin K, which is excellent for healthy blood clotting and strengthening bones, and vitamin A for better vision, potassium for smooth kidney functioning, and trace minerals that help boost immunity.  Asparagus is a good source of protein and fiber, making it great for digestion, and with it’s inflammatory compounds can help protect you from type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Additionally, asparagus has antioxidants, such as glutathione, which protects the skin from sun damage and the effects of aging, and contains a unique carbohydrate known as inulin that remains undigested until it reaches the large intestine, where it helps to absorb nutrients better, cutting the risk of colon cancer.

Today I created an asparagus soup that’s super yummy.  This soup can be eaten raw, warmed, or cooked.  You decide.  I felt like eating it warm today so I simmered the ingredients in a pot on medium heat for about 7 minutes (until al dente) and then simply added half an avocado to my blender with the warm soup ingredients and voila, it was ready to eat. So good!  For a complete meal, this recipe is good for one serving, and as a starter, this will serve 2.

Since I always think of my dad when I see asparagus, I am dedicating this soup recipe to my dad who is no longer in this world.  I wish he had eaten more vegetables while he was alive so we could have shared more good times together.  For now, I am left with memories, and I will cherish all of the good memories of my dad, always.

This one’s for you, Papasan!

Dedication song, “Gold Dust” by John Newman.

 

ASPARAGUS SOUP

DF, V, GF, GFV, SF, NF R

Prep Time 5-12 minutes

Servings 2

Ingredients

1/2 pound (about 2 cups) asparagus, trimmed of fibrous bottoms and chopped into thirds

heaping 1/3 cup sweet onion

1 cup vegetable stock

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 tsp sea salt

1-2 shakes cayenne pepper

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 avocado (about 1/4 cup)

 

Directions

1. a) If eating this soup raw, place all ingredients into blender, except for 4 asparagus tops for garnish, and process until smooth.  Adjust sea salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice to taste. Garnish with asparagus tops and enjoy!

b) If eating warmed or cooked soup, add all of the ingredients to a small saucepot, EXCEPT for the avocado.

2. Cover and place the pot on medium heat for 3 minutes.  Turn down the heat to a simmer (medium-low heat) until desired level of tenderness. If you want it less cooked, cook until the asparagus are al dente (with a bite, some crispness), about 7 more minutes. Otherwise, cook until tender.

3. Place the avocado in the blender, reserve 4 asparagus stems for garnish and texture, and carefully pour the soup into the blender and process until smooth.  Taste and adjust sea salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

4. Pour into 2 bowls or one large bowl and garnish with the asparagus tops and enjoy!

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