Asparagus Soup

Ingredients:

½ medium sweet onion, medium dice

1 pound bunch of asparagus, stalks trimmed, cut into 2-inch slices (reserve about 8 tips for garnish)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T butter

1 T olive oil

2 T all-purpose flour

32 ounces Vegetable broth (or chicken broth, low-sodium if you prefer), heated

½ C half-and-half (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

MOP:

Heat/melt butter and olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat; saute onion until softened (about 6 minutes), then add sliced asparagus and stir to coat in oil/butter.  Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic, stir about 30 seconds.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle flour over veggies, stir about 1 minute to blend in and coat the veggies (and to cook the flour taste out – this will create the roux for your soup).

Add heated broth gradually, stirring to incorporate it into the flour; change to a whisk and stir out any lumps.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the asparagus stalks are tender.

Turn off the heat, plug in your immersion blender, and puree the soup in the pot until it’s fairly smooth.  An alternate method is to ladle batches of the soup into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  You can go even further to ensure smoothness by straining the soup through cheesecloth or a fine sieve, removing any remaining solids.

Return the soup to a simmer, and add the optional half-and-half.  Season to taste, and serve.  Serves 6.

(Note:  you can use practically any vegetable to make soup using this method – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, potatoes, squash, or mushrooms – or combinations.  Have fun experimenting – you can also add different herbs/spices to the soup, depending on the vegetables you use – curries, basil, oregano, parsley, lemon zest or juice).


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