Ciao Italia Blog Exclusive: Asparagus Stem Soup

May 27, 2009

Who doesn’t love a bargain, especially in these recessionary times?

When I spotted fresh local asparagus on sale at the local grocery store (“buy one get one free”!), I started conjuring up dozens ideas for what I could do with it. After all, even on sale, asparagus is not a cheap vegetable, and I would hate to buy it and let it go to waste!

Needless to say, I picked up all I could carry. Back at home, I got right to work. Now, most people I know throw away the stalks or at least peel them with
a vegetable scraper to get to the “tender” part.

I didn’t do any of that. I simply broke off each stalk of asparagus at its natural bending point. Then I cut the stalks in half lengthwise and threw them into a soup pot. Of course, I kept the tops, too.

I hunted to see what was in the refrigerator and found a half of an onion so I threw that in too along with some lettuce leaves that had seen better days. Leftover chicken broth went in, as well as a carrot and some parsley.

I let everything simmer away while I oven roasted the asparagus tops with olive oil and sea salt. My plan was to serve the roasted asparagus with steak for dinner and to serve the soup the next night.

Two meals for the price of one.Recession? Bring it on!

Asparagus Soup

Serves 8

Stalks from two pounds of asparagus, cut in half length wise
1 medium onion chopped
1 large carrot scraped and cut into chunks
Several large lettuce leaves, or a small bunch of spinach
Enough chicken broth or water to cover the ingredients
Salt and pepper to taste
Celery salt to taste

Bring all the ingredients to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered until the stalks are tender, about 10 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or food processor in batches and puree until smooth or use an immersion blender and puree right in the soup pot.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and celery salt.

Serve hot. Enjoy!

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