With Spring around the corner it’s only right to celebrate one of the culinary joys of the season…asparagus. The spears that we enjoy are the young shoots of the perennial asparagus plant, hence spring is the best time to get your fix, when the majority of store bought asparagus is of the local and not imported kind. So keeping it local, we’ve dedicated this week to our favourite spring shoot with three delicious recipes:
- Spring Asparagus Soup – if you’re not ready to let go of soup quite yet – this one’s for you!
- Charred Asparagus and Broccoli Salad – a delicious salad that won’t leave you wanting.
- Asian Sesame Beef and Asparagus Stir Fry – roll up your sleeves and get that wok out.
Spring Asparagus Soup
- 4 cups good quality chicken stock
- 800g fresh asparagus spears, cut into 2cm chunks with the woody end removed and set aside
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 tbs olive oil
- ½ cup minced onions
- ½ cup minced leeks, white part only
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- Salt to season
- White pepper to season
- ½ cup cream
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan for topping
- Heat the stock up in a saucepan over a low heat and add the woody asparagus off cuts, simmer for about 20 minutes to let the asparagus flavour infuse into the stock. Remove the woody pieces and set the stock aside.
- Heat another saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil. Next add the leeks, onions and garlic. Gently fry for a couple minutes then add the asparagus pieces.
- Sautee the asparagus for a minute then add the stock.
- Simmer for 25 minutes and take off the heat. Blend the soup with a hand blender, be careful not to splatter or burn yourself.
- Add the cream and heat over a low heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve hot and garnish with the parmesan.
PS: If you’re feeling really indulgent, add some crispy fried pancetta bits on top.