“I don’t like that.”
Those words popped out of Monkey Boy’s mouth when I said we were having creamy asparagus soup for dinner, before he had even seen it. This is his new favorite thing to do at every meal. Anything he doesn’t recognize is automatically assigned to the "don’t like” category, which is growing longer than my arm.
I wish I could say that my children eat everything we prepare for dinner, and I think most parents wish for that day when the family sits down to dinner and everyone digs in happily, even asking for seconds. No one pouts or complains that this isn’t their favorite or refuses to try something new. Dinner ends with all the children asking when we can have that meal again. The only thing that would make it better is if the children offer to sweep the floor and wash the dishes afterwards.
We all have our pipe dreams, this is mine.
And though the story doesn’t have a fairy tale ending—Monkey Boy refused to taste even a little of the soup, and Top Gun tried but turned up his nose—Michael and Builder Guy adored this creamy asparagus soup and asked for seconds, and I enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast.
Though there is heavy cream in the ingredients, we only use it as an optional garnish, and the creamy texture comes from pureeing the cooked vegetables in the chicken stock. This is a great way to use the thick, tougher stalks of asparagus because they cook until very soft before blending, just remember to discard the woody ends before cooking. Though the soup can be made with vegetable broth, I prefer the flavor of the soup with chicken stock.
You can also serve this as a refreshing cold soup. Chill the cooked soup in the refrigerator overnight. Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream or half & half or vegetarian alternative, then serve.
[Updated March 2012.]
Creamy Asparagus Soup
- 5-quart heavy bottom pot with lid
- blender with glass jar or food mill
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
- 2 large leeks (green portions removed, cleaned and thinly sliced)
- 2 large yellow onions (peeled and chopped)
- 2 quarts chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
- 2 pounds thick asparagus (tips reserved, woody ends removed, cut into ½-inch pieces)
- fresh ground pepper
- sea salt
- heavy cream (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
- In the pot, melt the butter then add the sliced leeks and the chopped onions. Cook over medium heat until they are soft and glistening.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus pieces (not the tips) and bring back to a boil, then cook at a simmer until the asparagus is soft, about 45 minutes.
- Puree the soup in batches in the blender, then return to the pot and warm it up. Add the asparagus tips and cook over medium for five more minutes, until the tips are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with a drizzle of heavy cream.