Sunday, December 23, 2012

Velvety Cream of Asparagus Soup...non dairy

simple, elegant, healthy, satisfying, rich and velvety smooth.
a perfect soup for a chilly night after you've had a big lunch out with the relatives.
soup is always a great make-ahead meal to have on hand for a quick comfort food dinner when you're just too tired to lift a finger...
to whip up an easy pureed soup with just about any favorite vegetable, all you need are a few staples in the kitchen

a few staples for a simple easy pureed soup...

in the freezer at all times...
never throw away a good roasted chicken carcass.  break the carcass down and save in the freezer.  when you have a few throw them in a big pot with water to cover and make up a batch of homemade stock.  just the carcass, skin and bones with some water.  cook it down for a few hours.  the viscosity you get from all those roasted bones and cartilage is the best, hands down.
always tucked in the back of the fridge...
cut the top off, pour some olive oil on cut sides and wrap in foil.  throw it in the toaster oven for 40 minutes on 370 F.  remove cloves from skins and refrigerate in a small container covered with olive oil.  use a few cloves when ever you need that extra "took me all day" flavor.
hiding in the cool dark pantry...
i buy the big container of dried shitaki mushrooms from Costco.  put a good handful in the toaster oven on low for a few minutes to insure they are good and dry.  then put them in a spice grinder and pulverise until it is powder.  store in an airtight container in the pantry.
proudly displayed on the counter top...
not to sound like an infomercial or anything, but i highly recommend the VITAMIX.  i used to use my immersion stick blender for purees, but for this Asparagus Puree i thought i'd try the Vitamix.  i was truly amazed at the difference.  absolutely velvety smooth.  so much creamier than my others.  creamy...with no added cream...BIG difference.


1 pound of blanched asparagus (salted water)
1/2 yellow onion, sauteed in olive oil
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 Tbsp shitaki mushroom powder...see note above
1 tsp fresh tarragon, minced 
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups homemade chicken broth, depending on how thick you like your soup.

blanch asparagus, saute 1/2 onion, roast garlic, bring broth to a boil.
cut tips off asparagus and save for garnish.
add everything to the Vitamix/blender...or you can use an immersion blender (see note about blender vs. immersion/stick blender above).
puree until very smooth and creamy.  add more stock if too thick.
salt and pepper to taste.
serve with asparagus tips and a sprinkle of very fine chiffonade of tarragon.
after thought...maybe a tiny zest of lemon would work well...


Joie said...

Jules, does the mushroom powder add anything besides flavor? I have a mushroom allergy, and wondered if it was vital to the soup, or if I could just leave it out.

Jules and Ruby said...

Hi Joie. The mushroom powder isn't necessary, but I think it added a little extra body You could leave it out. I was testing it as a new ingredient. Pardon my short reply. I'm on my cell,but wanted to get back to you

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

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