Asparagus may be synonymous with spring, and those first spears eaten raw in the garden are the rewards for so much waiting, yet give it a few weeks and it could result in too much asparagus. If your love of fresh asparagus simply served with melted butter is starting to play a different tune, try building up a repertoire of recipes, from roasting into a caramelized crisp to decorating a savory tart, or an Asparagus Soup, garnished with Coconut Lemon Creme.
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Asparagus Soup with Coconut Lemon Creme
From The Complete Kitchen Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden
Makes 4 to 6 servings
The first tender spears of asparagus are best enjoyed fresh and whole from the garden, but as the season progresses and the stalks get larger and the crop more abundant, this is an excellent soup to prepare. Its light, lemony flavors blended with a hint of curry are delicious served warm or chilled, and topped with crème fraîche.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup (8-ounce can) coconut milk
12 to 18 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch lengths (2 cups)
1 cup crème fraîche
Scallions or chives, finely chopped, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and oil. Add the onion and salt and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes.Stir in the curry powder, ginger, and half of the lemon zest and juice. Then add the potatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes.
Slowly add the broth, coconut milk, and asparagus and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover partially and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. 4. With an immersion blender, or in a food processor, purée the mixture until smooth.
In a small bowl, blend the crème fraîche, remaining lemon zest and juice, and scallions or chives.