I have been working in the garden for many hours lately. The weather has been divine and everything (flowers and vegetables) seem to be ahead of schedule. It looks like we’re going to have a bumper crop of strawberries. Not so sure about the raspberries as they have developed rust for the first time in their 40-year history! We might have to cut them all back. My husband is diligently trying to save them.
One of the reasons that I love spring is because it’s ASPARAGUS season. I could eat this vegetable at every meal. Asparagus omelet for breakfast. Quinoa, artichoke and asparagus salad at lunch. Roasted asparagus toasted with pasta and parmesan for dinner. I just can’t get enough of the stuff. Our local Washington asparagus is starting to come in and that gets me excited. I’d like to share a healthy recipe that you can eat hot or cold. It’s a festive party in a bowl. Perfect for Springtime in the garden.
Pea and Asparagus Soup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound of asparagus, trimmed and sliced
5 cups water or chicken/vegetable stock
2 stalks of asparagus kept whole
2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional or you can substitute coconut milk)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill (ok to use dry dill if that is what you have in the cupboard)
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften. Stir in 5 cups water, sliced asparagus and peas. Bring to a gentle boil, lower heat and simmer until asparagus is very tender. About 15 minutes.
Working in small batches, puree soup in a blender. Strain the soup through a sieve, pressing down on any solids with the back of a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible Pour back in the pot. Place over low heat until just simmering. Stir in salt and lemon juice.
Use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons with the remaining asparagus stalks. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle the tip of each with a little cream, if using. Top with a few asparagus ribbons and dill.
Spring in a bowl.
— By Deborah Binder
Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share here experiments with her family and friends. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and freelances around town for local chefs. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at [email protected].