Yeah for asparagus season! When this time of year comes, we eat lots and lots of asparagus, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love them in many ways: grilled, broiled, sautéed, on my toast, in my frittatas, with scrambled eggs, in my salad. Seriously I could keep going on and on, but asparagus soup sounds like something from a baby food jar, doesn’t it? “Sopa de Esparrago.” Bawww!
This soup is everything except bland baby food, that’s for sure. It is delicious with a hint of spice from the red pepper, and creamy without cream, I know that sounds crazy but it works. With every spring ingredient highlighted on the plate. Don’t skip the garnishes because they are as much part of the soup as the soup itself. I perfected this soup for a fundraising dinner I put together last year, you can read about that here: Five Course Dinner + Raising Funds for Centro Hispano. I was inspired to make the soup by beautiful pictures from Manresa’s asparagus gazpacho, which also gave me the idea that it didn’t have to be a hot soup.
After pickling ramps last year to preserve their short-lived harvest, I would not miss doing that every year. This asparagus soup with pickled ramps is spring on a plate. Asparagus, ramps, and chive blossoms! Yum! The perfect lunch, sitting by the garden in late spring with a nice glass of crispy wine!
(yields about 3 cups)
1 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus
1 medium Vidalia onion, finely diced
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Pickled Ramps – Recipe here
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cut off the rough end of the asparagus. Peel the asparagus using a vegetable peeler, cut the tip ends to 3-inch length and the rest of the stalks into smaller pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boiling, add a generous amount of salt. Prepare an ice bath in a big bowl. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the ice bath. Reserve one cup of the cooking water.
In a large skillet add the olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.
Choose few asparagus tips, cut them in half lengthwise, and reserve for garnishing.
In a blender add the rest of the asparagus, the onion mix, one cup of reserved cooking water, and blend on high for few minutes. If the soup is too thick add more water. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Pass the soup through a large sieve if you want a smooth consistency, for a chunkier soup, you can skip this step.
Serve the soup at room temperature, carefully place the asparagus tips half on top, let them float. Add few drops of olive oil and arrange pickled ramps and chive blossoms or any other garnishments if using. Enjoy!