April 6, 2010 3

Recipe: Soup for spring

By in Food, TV

Asparagus Soup

Adam and I watched the first two episodes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution the other night, and were both intrigued and repulsed. The family whose freezer was top-to-bottom filled with frozen pizza and nothing else? The fact that American school lunches are required to have two starches? Kids not knowing what a tomato is? Scary stuff. While the show is definitely “reality television” rather than “reality,” I think it’s been doing a good job of being emotionally manipulative without falling into overly schmaltzy territory all of the time. Plus, Jamie’s kind of adorable in his quest to improve American diets, as he attempts to maintain his sanity amidst so much opposition. Touching on everything I thought was well-done about the show, Adam pointed me to the excellent A.V. Club write-up of the premiere.

It also introduced me to Jamie Oliver as a chef, who I’d heard of before, but never knew much about. His website has some neat recipes on it, and it’s kind of fun that they’re written in British-English: measurements are in grams, and he calls for “knobs” of butter, things to be “blitzed” or “put in a liquidizer.” Awww cute British-ness! For dinner on Monday, I decided to try on his recipe for asparagus soup. It tasted exactly like what you’d expect the celadon color to taste like: springtime, fresh, clean, gardens, and moist. Paired with my first poaching-eggs experience ever, and it was a nice change of pace for dinner. Plus, as there wasn’t a dump truck of fat in it, it thankfully didn’t make Jamie Oliver cry. (Recipe after the jump)

Asparagus soup
Adapted from Jaimie Oliver’s recipe

Makes: A lot. Like, a LOT a lot. Jamie says “serves 8” but we had 4 people each take 2 servings, and we still had half the pan left.

2 bunches asparagus (just shy of 2 pounds)
2 medium white onions
2 sticks of celery
2 leeks
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
8 cups chicken / vegetable stock
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp thyme powder
sea salt
black pepper
olive oil
eggs + bread (see bottom)

Break woody ends off asparagus and discard. Break tips off asparagus and set aside for later (*Rachel taught me that if you grip the asparagus and simply bend it until it breaks, it will break exactly where it’s supposed to?! I had no idea! Brilliant!). Roughly chop the asparagus stalks, onions, celery, and leeks. Put a large, deep pan on medium-high heat with a glug of olive oil. Add onions, celery, leeks, and garlic, and fry for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and liquid stock; cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and run the soup through a blender, food processor, “liquidizer,” or whatever you’ve got. Return to the pot and season with the salt, pepper (I like fresh black pepper as well as seasoned pepper), and thyme. Stir in the asparagus tips. Add the 1/2 lemon’s juice and zest. Stir for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus tips are softened, but still have a bit of tooth to them.

At this point, I decided to try poaching eggs and I thought I had pretty decent results. Poach 1 egg per person in a separate pan of water, and remove with a slotted spoon. Cut thin pieces of crusty bread, toast, and place atop each bowl of soup. Top the bread with the egg, grind a little more black pepper on top, and serve.

Jury’s still out, but we think it’d be even better after a day of sitting, or perhaps even served cold on a hot day with a glass of lemonade. We’ll let you know … or better yet, let me know!

Tags: , , , , ,

3 Responses to “Recipe: Soup for spring”

  1. Catherine says:

    I like asparagus, but not quite enough to try this. I do find that recipes for soup always seem to serve twice as many as the recipe suggests…. what kind of crazy soup-slurpers are out there?? Congratulations on the egg poaching!

  2. Matt says:

    Catherine: I’ve decided that asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I just really really enjoy it. My heart stills beats primarily for peppers, but still…

Leave a Reply