A super-green and super-tasty vegetable soup with a few simple ingredients, including spinach and shallots
- 25g butter
- a little vegetable oil
- 350g asparagus spear, stalks chopped, woody ends discarded, tips reserved
- 3 shallots, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 large handfuls spinach
- 700ml vegetable stock (fresh if possible)
- olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
- rustic bread (preferably sourdough), to serve (optional)
MethodFry the asparagus tips for a few mins to soften. Remove and set aside.
- 2 onions, sliced
- 25g butter
- 650g asparagus (after snapping off woody ends)
- 1l vegetable stock
- 350g frozen peas
- 8 thin slices baguette or small loaf (white or seeded)
- 1 tbsp hazelnut oil, plus a drizzle to serve
- 150g pack soft goat's cheese
- 25g blanched hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- handful pea shoots
- In a large saucepan, soften the onions in the butter. Meanwhile, trim about 5cm off the ends of 16 of your thinnest asparagus spears and set these aside. Roughly chop the remaining asparagus and stir into the onions. Cook for a few mins, then tip in the stock. Cover and boil for 10 mins, then uncover, stir in the peas and cook for 2 mins more.
- Whizz the soup with a blender until smooth, then return to the pan. Season well and add a splash more water if it looks a little thick.
- Meanwhile, cook the reserved asparagus tips in boiling water until just cooked, then drain and dry on kitchen paper.
- When you’re ready to serve, warm the soup gently. Brush the baguette slices with the hazelnut oil and toast, then spread with some goat’s cheese and top with a couple of the asparagus tips, plus a sprinkling of hazelnuts. Ladle the soup into bowls, float a toast on each with a few pea shoots and drizzle with a little more hazelnut oil. Serve extra toasts on the side.
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium-size onion, diced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 medium-size potato, peeled and diced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/8 teaspoon white or black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Cut tips from asparagus. Set aside. Chop remaining stalks into 1/2-inch pieces. Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add asparagus stalks and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, salt, dill and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 10 to 12 minutes uncovered, until potatoes are very tender. Meanwhile, place asparagus tips in a small glass bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
- Remove soup from heat and puree until smooth. Stir in heavy cream. Serve warm or chilled, garnished with asparagus tips.
- 2tablespoons butter
- 2tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
- 2cups diced peeled red potatoes
- 3cups vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1cup "lite" Coconut Milk
- 2cups 1/2-inch Pieces trimmed asparagus,(about 1 bunch)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche, or reduced-fat Sour Cream(see Note)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion greens , or fresh chives
- Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder, ginger, lemon zest and potatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk and asparagus. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, partially cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender (in batches) until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Whisk creme fraiche (or sour cream), lemon juice and scallion greens (or chives) in a small bowl and garnish with a swirl of it.
- Tip:Note: Creme fraiche is a tangy, thick, rich cultured cream commonly used in French cooking. Find it in the dairy section of large supermarkets, usually near other specialty cheeses. Sour cream can be used as a substitute, or you can make your own lower-fat version by combining equal portions of reduced-fat sour cream and nonfat plain yogurt.