Monday, March 21, 2011

Creamy Asparagus Soup

So we braved the downtown Farmers Market last Thursday...I'm saying "braved" because of two things.  College students and St. Pat's Day.  Yes, our small town gets going on days like this!  With bars opening at 6 am, I knew we were in for a wild night.  It was apparent as we cruised the market that there was a lot of public intox going on!  I felt bad for the kids who were subjected to stumbling adults and their foul mouths.  So glad we decided to leave our little ones with grandma and grandpa!
Anyway, we got our fruits and vegetables then hunkered down at Firestone {which was surprisingly un-crowded} and ate our dinner.
All of my great ideas to grill outside this weekend were sidelined by some really intense rain!  So, I had to improvise with all of the asparagus I bought.  First I made a frittata, but there was still a lot of asparagus leftover, so I decided to make this soup.  It turned out really tasty, but mine was a little thin.  I've adjusted some of the measurements in the recipe so if you make this it won't be thin.  Add a spoonful of ricotta or creme fraiche on top to give it some extra creaminess.

Creamy Asparagus Soup {my recipe}

INGREDIENTS: {serves 4}

  • 1 lb. skinny asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup half and half {or heavy cream}
  • creme fraiche {if desired, to garnish}
  Chop asparagus into 2 inch dice.  In a large saucepan melt olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add sliced shallot, season with salt and pepper, and saute for a couple minutes, but be careful not to brown.  Add asparagus, season with more salt and pepper, and heat through about 5 minutes.  Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Let boil about 10-15 minutes or until fork tender.  Once asparagus is fork tender you can remove a few tips of asparagus and set aside for garnish {if you like}.  
Carefully pour the mixture into a blender.  If you're blender is not very big, then work in batches.  
Add the 1/2 cup of ricotta to the blender and puree until almost smooth {I like a little texture}.  Pour the soup back into the stockpot and heat on low.  Add the half and half, season with more salt and pepper to taste and stir until slightly thickened.  Serve with a spoonful of ricotta or creme fraiche on top and garnish with reserved asparagus tips if you saved some.  Enjoy!

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