Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? A cant-help-but-sing-it-in-the-shower, keeps-you-awake-at-night, a used-to-love-it-but-now-I-kinda-hate-it song? I’m sure we’ve all been there. Lately, I’ve been that way with recipes. I will get one recipe idea and it will get stuck on repeat in my mind. I will think about the ingredients. Should I add both garlic and onions, or will that be to potent? I think about the cooking method. Would it be best to blanch or roast the veggies? And, I think about taking photos of the recipe for the blog. Will my white backdrop be the best way to show off the recipe or should I stick with black?
On and on my recipe song goes. It will be the first thing on my mind when I wake up. The thing that distracts me while writing my term paper. It follows me into class, keeps me up at night, and haunts my dreams. It gets stuck on repeat in my head until I have every detail of the recipe worked out from my grocery list to my photography props.
This was one of those recipes. I dreamed about this luscious rich light and creamy asparagus soup for more the last few weeks. It started when I was shopping for another recipe I was working on and I locked eyes with fresh spring asparagus in the grocery store. I almost threw my other recipe out the window in favor of the asparagus, but I decided to let the idea marinate for a while. I wanted to showcase this delightful vegetable in the best way possible, and that would require some thought.
A week and a million versions of this recipe tune later, I had it all figured out. I wanted to make a chilled asparagus soup. I wanted it to be creamy but not heavy, so I added avocado to my basket. I knew I needed a base of onions and celery to get a depth of flavor, so in went the two allium plants. Lemon would add needed acidity and freshness and as a bonus, keep the soup a bright green color. And last, I added the base of this recipe, the melody in the song, the asparagus.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion, minced
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 lb asparagus, woody ends removed and sliced into 1 inch lengths
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 medium avocados
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
To garnish (optional):
- Lemon cream (recipe follows)
- Parsley or other herb
- Asparagus spears
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add in the onion and celery and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the asparagus, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Sautee for another 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the stovetop and allow to come to room temperature.
- Add the soup, avocado, and lemon juice to a high powered blender. Blend until creamy. You might need to blend in batches depending on the size of your blender. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. Garnish with lemon cream, parsley, and asparagus spears if desired.
- ½ cup raw cashew pieces, soaked for at least 4 hours
- ¼ cup water
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- Rinse the soaked cashews and add them to a high powered blender. Add in the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Store in the refrigerator.