CreamLESS Asparagus Soup

The best thing about all the recipe testing that I've been doing with Hollye Jacobs  is that Hollye is there to take notes and Blue Caleel is there to take such gorgeous photos.  When I'm writing recipes for Hollye they are specifically designed for health, with a special focus on anti-cancer foods.  Hollye prefers the recipes to be Vegetarian or Vegan.  For me, I eat everything.  This is one of those recipes that fits the bill for everyone:  those trying to be healthy and looking for something delicious.  If you want the vegetarian version of this recipe click on this hyper link.  

When I was creating the recipe for a Spring dinner a few years ago my only goal was taste.  I wasn't trying to make a diet soup or a healthy soup.  My only goal was taste.  I started experimenting with what I thought would make a great soup.  I always taste as I go when I'm experimenting.  When I got to the part where I fully intended to add the cream, the soup was so delicious and rich on its own that I decided the cream would only dull the flavors and actually make the soup taste worse instead of better.  So this delicious soup turned out to be both healthy and delicious.

For dinner parties or if you have time, I like to make it extra special.  I garnish with a Candied Lemon Zest and a piece of crumbled feta cheese.  (Here are two links for making candied lemon zest:  one is from a recipe for Meyer Lemon Cupcakes and the zest in these pictures and the technique is almost identical to the way I make mine.  The second recipe is for Martha Stewart's recipe, which uses the same technique but has thicker and straighter zest.  I like it to curl for the soup.)

Another great alternative option for the soup is to make Parmesan Crisps.  They are super easy to make.    Here is a video on how to make them.  But if you want to skip that step you could also just garnish with Parmesan Cheese.

The soup freezes well so it is also a great soup to make in advance if you are entertaining.  But it is such a quick and easy recipe that you can easily make it for a quick and delicious lunch or dinner.

 photography Blue Caleel 
Gorgeous Aspargus fresh from the fields of Jacob Grant's Roots Farm

When blending hot soups or anything hot always remove the center cap of the blender

 If you don't remove the middle cap from the blender the heat and blending
will make a giant explosion.  I learned this the hard way when 
blending hot Plum Sauce to go with Pork Tenderloin.  The plum sauce
was all over the ceiling and white cabinets.

Then place a kitchen towel over the opening in the top of the blender.
After you begin blending, occasionally lift the towel to let 
the hot air escape from the blender


2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon) to sprinkle on onions while they cook

2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 1/2 quarts of chicken broth (I used Swanson's Natural Goodness)
2 pounds of fresh Asparagus, ends trimmed and discarded

for the garnish (optional):
Small piece of Crumbled Feta Cheese for each soup

alternative garnish (optional):

1.  Cut Asparagus into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

2.  Sauté onion in olive oil for ten minutes until soft. 

3.  Add carrots and sauté for two more minutes.  

4.  Add chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil.  Add asparagus when soup boils.  Cook for five minutes.

5.  Either use an immersion blender (aka hand blender) or a normal blender to blend the soup.  (PLEASE NOTE the pictures above about removing the cap of the blender when blending hot items.  Otherwise you will have giant explosion all over your kitchen.)  When blending start on low and then increase speed.

6.  Return blended soup to the pot to reheat.  For thinner soup use more broth for thicker soup use less.  

7.  If you want to be extra fancy, garnish with candied lemon zest and fresh feta.  If you want something more casual use parmesan crisps or just sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  


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