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Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.
Today: A novel way to share the season with your guests.
So we end our three weeks of experimenting with asparagus on a warm note, with Thai Scented Asparagus Soup. I have been mulling soup made with asparagus for a while now, because soup seems a novel way to share the season with your guests, or, paired with good bread, a good alternative to the food trucks near the office.
This is a very straightforward method that will yield your first course in under an hour; I have only three tips to add, outside of my suggestion that you use homemade stock, which you knew.
• The other day, my nine-year-old explained to me that cod was the basis of the colonial economy, and thus cod = DC and so, please, more cod. I blinked for a few minutes, asked if that meant I could no longer serve salmon, and then procured more cod, because we have that here, in spades. Alas, lemongrass, not so much. After four trips to the store, I decided to substitute chopped Thai basil and lemon verbena culled from my garden, which I added to the pot with the asparagus. If you, like me, are unable to find lemongrass in your place of residence, try that.
• This recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk. Not the whole bloody can, okay? If you do as I did and dump the thing in there like some kind of criminal, the coconut flavors will overwhelm your asparagus.
• Friends, clean those asparagus tips. My soup, while delicious, had little bits of grit in every bite, which gives one that same horrible feeling as waking up and realizing that there is no coffee and someone has turned on one of those awful Sunday shows. Oh well, I’ll get some cheesecloth.
Serves 6 to 8
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or canola oil
3 pounds asparagus (after trimming an inch off the stalk)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Photo by James Ransom