Springtime brings so many wonderful vegetables to the table. During the month of April is when asparagus and artichokes are in season. Fresh, local, and in season produce are my first choices for cooking ingredients. Living in northern California affords me the luxury of local organic farms and their produce. But quality asparagus should also be available at regular supermarkets and grocery stores. Since this is their season, it should also be reasonably priced. Here is my easy and delicious recipe Coconut Cream of Asparagus Soup.
Fresh Is Best
Asparagus is a spring vegetable grown for it’s delicious young shoots. It’s fat free and cholesterol free and contains lots of nutrients. According the USDA, it is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, and even protein. AND it makes a heavenly soup. I brought this soup to one of my playgroup meetings for lunch. I need to remember to make a double batch because I was all gone before I was able to eat!
Sure you could buy a can or a box of cream of asparagus soup, but why? It’s so easy and better for you to make. First heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup or stock pot. Add 1/2 large white or yellow onion, salt, and herbs. Saute until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Wash and chop your veggies next. Cut off the last 1/3 to 1/4 stalk of your asparagus spears. This is the more fibrous, woody part. Discard in you compost pile. Then chop your asparagus and celery stalks, including celery leaves, into uniform pieces. Add your chicken stock and vegetables to the pot, and boil for at least 20 minutes. The asparagus and celery should be soft and tender. My house smells SOOOO good when ever I make this dish. My daughter loves it!
For this recipe, I used Penzeys Spices Minced Garlic that I got for Christmas in a gift set (which is awesome by the way) but you can easily use 2 to 3 cloves of fresh garlic. I played with the dried herbs for a bit until I found a formula that worked well. I used Himalayan sea salt, fresh pepper, dill weed, and Herbs de Provence. Herbs de Provence is a mixture typically of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano and, sometimes lavender leaves.
After 20 minutes of boiling, allow to cool for at least 5 minutes, so it is easier to work with. Working in small batches, blend or process the soup until smooth. Return to pot. Finally, add your light coconut milk and stir well. I have made this soup with heavy cream, and another time with a mixture of milk and a cornstarch as a thickener. Trust me when I say, the coconut milk version is the best. It’s so much creamier and so delicious. Serve immediately.
This soup makes an awesome first course but you can add steamed rice or quinoa to make it more of a substantial meal. It goes great with roasted chicken!
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups chopped asparagus spears
- 3 stalks chopped celery, leaves included
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp dill weed
- 1 TBSP Herbs de Provence
- 1/2 tsp dried, minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves of fresh minced garlic)
- 1 14oz can light coconut milk
- Heat oil in a large soup or stock pot.
- Saute onions, salt, pepper, garlic, dill, and Herbs de Provence until onions become translucent. About 5 minutes.
- Add 1 quart of chicken stock, asparagus, and celery. Cover and bring to a boil for approximately 20 minutes.
- Allow soup mixture to cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Working in small batches, blend soup in blender until it becomes a smooth puree.
- Add 1 can of light coconut milk and mix well.
- Serve immediately.
- For the slow cooker version, put all ingredients into your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3. Allow to cool slightly. Then working in small batches, blend in the blender.