Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I took the kids to a little zoo and amusement park last week with my friend Jennifer, and her baby, Max. Jennifer went on and on and on and then on some more about cream of asparagus soup. She had some as a starter in a restaurant and was really impressed, and asked if I could try to make it in the crockpot.
So I did. There are two versions---one with cream and one without. The without cream is just as creamy, but doesn't leave a velvety film on your tongue the way the other one does. And the color is more forest-green than asparagusish.
--1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (although I'd imagine frozen would work just fine)
--4 cups vegetable broth
--1/2 white onion, chopped
--2 tiny red potatoes (or one med. brown)
--1 t black pepper (please don't use this much. it was a mistake.)
--1/2 t seasoned salt
--1/2 cup half and half (optional; to add at the end of cooking time)
Wash and trim the woody ends off of the asparagus, and feed to the guinea pigs. Cut the rest of the asparagus into 2-inch-or-so chunks.
Add the asparagus to the crock, along with the chopped onion and potato (I didn't peel the potatoes, by the way). Pour in your broth and add the seasoned salt and pepper. I chose seasoned salt because it sounded fancy, and I was in a fancy mood. Kosher salt would work just fine.
Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 3-5.
The soup is ready when the potatoes are tender.
CAREFULLY, seriously, BE CAREFUL: use a hand blender to soupify. If you don't have a hand blender, you can blend the soup in batches in your traditional blender.
Return to the crock and stir in the half and half, if using.
Salt and pepper to taste (I, um, didn't need to add more pepper...)
This is a good soup; very asparagusy and creamy. Unless you add a whole teaspoon of black pepper. I got confused. I decided at the very last minute to double the spice after the curried potato experience, and the advice in Kalyn's Slow Cooking article. I think that it's good advice---but I took it a bit too far.
I'd start with 1/2 t of pepper, and then season accordingly to taste when finished. I like asparagus, and I like soup. So by default, this was a winner. Adam suggested adding some tobasco; I'm going to try that for lunch.
Thank you so much for all of your kind words yesterday; they were a joy to read and really warmed my heart. It means a tremendous amount to know that there are so many people on this journey with me. If you still feel like you want to read more---there is an an interview with me up at Parent Dish. Bethany did a fantastic job, and was so much fun to work with.