You've wondered what to do when finding yourself knee-deep in asparagus. Well, here's the answer.
I found myself right in that depth of asparagus last night. Not quite sure how it came to be, but three bunches accumulated on the produce shelf. Strange, since I would never buy more than one bunch at a time. How did that slip through the cracks two weeks in a row? How is it that all the asparagus is still crisp? Its a mysterious vegetable.
Its one of my favorite vegetables, which might be genetic. As are other effects of consuming asparagus, I hear. Case in point: I told my mom about a year ago that Garrett and I had purchased a flight to Paris in late March. Her response:
"It'll be asparagus season!" I get many of my food tendencies from my mother.
To really enjoy this soup, asparagus has to be one of your favorite vegetables, as well. It's a very clean flavor, and you can taste every ingredient (including cauliflower and fennel) in addition to the overall essence of asparagus. If you want something a little less vegetable-y and more robust/full-bodied, start with butter and replace the onions with leeks or shallots. Of course, you could add more cream.
Ingredients (makes 5-6 servings):
- 3 bunches of asparagus, ends snapped off and cut into thirds
- 1 head of cauliflower florets
- 1 onion (or leeks)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. fennel seeks
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. of either rosemary or thyme
- 6 cups stock
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. cream/half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prep your vegetables and heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large pot. Add the fennel seeds for about three minutes, until browned. Add the onion and to sweat for 4 minutes, or so. Season with salt and pepper.
Put all the asparagus, with the parsley and herbs, in the pot at once. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add all of the cauliflower, stock, and water. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer partially covered for about 20 minutes. The cauliflower should be very soft.