Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Soup, beautiful (asparagus) soup of the evening!

This evening, Wednesday evening, after hard days at our respective offices, Scott and I at last made the asparagus soup that we've been talking about ever since I saw the article with the recipe in the Seattle Times last week. (As I've mentioned elsewhere, a few weeks ago there was a woman hawking Times subscriptions at the QFC and she made me feel so awful for not supporting print journalism that I signed up then and there. I'm not sure how much I'm paying or how to cancel when I feel I've paid enough but this recipe, I tells you, makes it all worthwhile. It was delish. But just disregard that 4 - 6 servings business in the recipe in the link above; we gobbled it all down immediately.)

There are no photos of the first few steps--simmering the "asparagus butts" in the broth and then squeezing the liquids out of the rudely named butts--because, well, I was concentrating on this end of things instead:
Chez Aurora Step One: Consume most of a whisky sour
But after you've finished most of your cocktail and have simmered the asparagus stalks (less tips) in the broth for 25 minutes, you shift that broth to a different container and settle down to sauteing some onion. Scott is a dab hand both at chopping onion and at sauteing it so he handled that portion of things:
Scott deals with the onion. Doesn't the kitchen look nice here?
After the onion is cooked a bit, you add the broth and the tips of the asparagus to the pot to cook for five minutes or so.
I pretend this is high-speed action and not just slow-shutter speed blur.

It's a good idea to have the bread in the oven heating by now and also to have the salads well underway. Otherwise you're just going to be standing over that pot muttering, "How long, oh lord, how long?"

The next step, as one can see here, is consulting the recipe
(And you thought that cocktail was finished ages ago)

and then putting the contents of the pot into the blender (Bethany Jena Clement recommends more than one batch, but it seemed like it would all fit so we did it in one) and then blend briefly:

This is my favorite shot of the whole process and the lid isn't even on yet!

Okay, so that isn't a blending photo but it captures the spirit of things, don't you think? Once the lid was on and I hit the power button, the force of the soup hitting the lid did push it up a bit, and it wasn't as tidy as it could have been. Still, it could have been worse.

After blending, I opted to return the soup to the pot to allow it to reheat a bit after I added the bit of cream (half & half, rather than the whipping cream called for in the recipe because who has whipping cream on hand?) and, after it was pretty warmed up, I added the tablespoon of lemon juice. The lemon juice makes it all so excellent; don't skip it! (I would, however, suggest omitting adding any salt; at least with the vegetable broth we used, there was no need for it.)

You serve it up, nice and hot, with a dollop of sour cream, a few raw asparagus tips, and a few grinds of black pepper. Plus, you know, healthful and nutritious green salad made with lettuce, carrots, and cucumber purchased at your local farmers market, bread from the Tall Grass Bakery, and maybe a small glass or two of red wine:

Seriously, this soup is fabulous and pretty darned easy to make.
Laissez les bon temps (et asperges) roulez!


  1. When I subscribed, it was around $30 a month, but I stopped after many years because of inconsistent delivery issues, lack of interesting content, and their refusal to carry the Sherman's Lagoon comic strip despite all the surveys I filled out on which comics they should carry.

    The soup (and entire meal) looks delicious. If I were the sort of person who cooked, I would make that.

    And yes, your kitchen looks lovely.

    1. As Scott has already noted, none of the comics seem particularly funny, but we have been enjoying the crosswords--and that soup recipe was pretty darned fine as well. Thus far our delivery has been flawless--and I find the bags very useful for Gradka's box. Hell, sometimes I even manage to learn something from reading the articles.

      You do bake occasionally and you are now retired, trying out new and exciting things; maybe you'll go so far as to make soup one of these days.

  2. It really was amazing soup. I have an irrational prejudice against soups that have to be put through the blender, but I might get over that prejudice.

    None of the comic strips in the Times are the least bit funny now. Maybe they never were, and we were all dumber when we were younger. Or the reverse might be true. I like the crossword puzzles, though.

    1. I occasionally get a chuckle out of "Pickles." Just about my speed.