Asparagus Celery Soup


Soup. Comforting. Nourishing. Satisfying. There are so many ways to describe it’s attributes, and rightly so. What else, ok… other than your fave piece of chocolate, can be so simple and do so much for you?

From hot soups of every texture in winter, to the cooling & refreshing soups of summer – there is soup for every season and every occasion.

Trim the ends, then peel the bottom couple inches.

With this year’s recent arrival of local asparagus, I of course, was all over it. Too much it would seem, as when I looked in the fridge there was an over abundance. Then, I spotted all the celery hanging around in the crisper. Ah ha. Soup, I thought, is the answer. That, and I had a dinner party coming up  – a captive audience to try it on!

If you know me, you’ll know of my slight aversion to celery – especially when it’s raw. I do know, however, and value it’s contributions to cooking, especially in my Mom’s most delicious stuffing recipe, and of course, it’s use as a major component of mirepoix – the combo of onion, carrot and celery that starts off so many savoury dishes in the kitchen.

So, I started prepping and chopping, most satisfied thinking… I’ll not only clear out the fridge, but also try something new with an ingredient on my…. “eh, don’t really care for it list!’

Asparagus Celery Soup

Be sure to save some of the tips, to steam and use for a fab garnish – which also adds some interesting texture and a very nice presentation. If you’d rather give this step a miss, top with a swirl of yogurt or cream and a sprinkling of fresh chives. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, medium dice
approx 16 spears asparagus (to equal the same amount of diced celery)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
approx 4 cups chicken stock (or veg stock)
1/2 cream to finish (your choice, depending on how rich you want it)
fresh grated nutmeg, to garnish

Preparation:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and butter.
Add the onion & celery and sauté for about 10 minutes.
Add the asparagus & garlic keeping aside any tips to cook for garnish.
Cook or steam the tips and reserve (steam over the soup, if possible).
Add stock and seasonings, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until the veg are tender.
Purée using a stick blender or in a regular blender.
Strain if you want it ultra smooth & elegant – or leave as is for a slightly heartier version, then add the cream.
When serving, top with the cooked reserved asparagus tips and a grating of fresh nutmeg.

 

Sautéeing the veg first really boosts the flavour!

Simmer with the stock until tender.

Steaming the tips over the simmering soup.

Purée.

Strain for an elegant finish.

Enjoy the taste of Spring~