Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Too healthy to be true - Asparagus Spinach Soup



I bought half a kilo of Asparagus the other day and started making new dishes / experiments with it. I have already posted the recipe for Asparagus Bruschetta with Goat’s Cheese, which is an appetizer. Now follows a soup.

This recipe is based on a similar one from a German book. It is cooked in a typical German way. Which means that vegetable stock (Gemüsebrühe) is a must. Germans rarely cook their soup without stock made with a typical combination of vegetables, which they call Suppengrün (literally meaning greens for the soup). Supermarkets stock portions of Suppengrün bundled together in the vegetable section. This bundle contains a stick of leek, a piece of celeriac, a carrot or two and a couple of parsley sprigs. This combination is stocked pre-cut in the freezer section too. Of course, like most things, this too has a short-cut, which is those universal vegetable stock cubes. But as the catchline for Bru coffee in India goes – ‘Real pleasure can’t come in an instant.’

Framing the picture: asparagus spears; In the frame (from left to right): spinach leaves, tomato, carrot, leek, red onion, celeriac, parsley

Now, then, to the recipe for Asparagus Spinach Soup

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

For ½ litre vegetable stock (in case not popping a stock cube into the soup)
1 small red onion
1 medium carrot
about 50 g. celeriac (or celery sticks, if that is more common in your area)
1 stick of leek
1 small tomato
2 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
a pinch grated/powdered nutmeg
crushed pepper to taste

For the soup
200 g. green asparagus (about 7 spears)
a handful of fresh spinach leaves
2 shallots / 1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese for garnishing

Method:

1. For the vegetable stock, peel the onion. Wash the rest of the vegetables. Chop all of them fine.
2. Transfer into a pan with ¾ litre of water. Bring it to a boil. Add the parsley, bay leaf, nutmeg and pepper. Simmer partly covered on low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour.
3. While the stock simmers, wash the asparagus and spinach.
4. Cut and discard the fat ends of the asparagus. Cut the tops about 1.5 inch long. Cut the rest of the asparagus in 1 inch long pieces.
5. Chop the spinach.


Clockwise from top: chopped spinach, chopped asparagus, asparagus tops

6. Peel the shallots/onion and chop fine.
7. Once the stock has simmered enough, strain it and gather the clear stock. If you like your soups broth-like, retain some of the strained vegetables. Otherwise, the strained vegetables should be discarded. Do not worry, though. About an hour of simmering is enough for the nutrients from the veggies to dissolve into the water.
8. Now, heat the oil in a pan big enough to accommodate the whole of the soup. Sauté the shallots/onion in it till translucent.
9. Add the asparagus tops & pieces and the chopped spinach.
10. Steam them in the covered pan for 2-3 minutes.
11. Open the pan and fish out the asparagus tops. Set them aside for garnishing.
12. Add the stock to the pan and cook the whole mixture for five minutes.
13. Add milk, salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
14. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in the blender attachment of a mixer.
15. Serve hot garnished with asparagus spears at the sides and grated parmesan on top. (There is no parmesan to see in my photograph. I added loads, but it all kept sinking to the bottom of the dish. Titanic, anyone?)

I think this soup is a great delicacy to offer when entertaining. And more so, if entertaining a pregnant woman. Asparagus and spinach – both are rich in Folic Acid, which is something a would-be mother can never have too much of.

By the way, this is my entry for Sweetnicks’ ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday # 15.

23 comments:

Puspha said...

This is such a healthy soup.

Lera said...

This soup sounds quite nutritious.

Anonymous said...

the soup finally looked very simple, but it was not so simple to make after all!! Yummy!

BDSN said...

NIce pictures...good combo ...lots of green..i lov it..

Vaishali said...

Thanks, Pushpa, Lera and BDSN. Let me know in case you try it out.

Anon, it's not really a simple dish to make, but worth the effort.

Meeta said...

Hey Vaishali,

Looks great! I have been thinking of buying green asparagus for my photography group. This months theme is green food! I was not too sure what exactly to do with it after I had bought it ... now I do ;-)! I actually prefer the white sort myself .... the best thing is the German asparagus season starts soon. Yippee!

By the way what do you think about an eventual meet uo with Shammi later this year. It'd be so cool!

Cate said...

I love asparagus and I love spinach ... can't go wrong with this soup!

Alanna said...

It "is" a complicated effort for asparagus soup: worth the effort? Or next time would you simplify? Alanna

Vaishali said...

Meeta, let me know once you've clicked asparagus for your photography group. As for the meet later this year, I am ok anytime after June. I have posted my comments on this at Shammi's blog. I hope we meet.

Thanks, Cate.

Welcome to my blog, Alanna. I will try and post a simpler recipe for Asparagus Soup sometime later.

Alanna said...

Hi again Vaishali - I didn't mean to suggest the need for a simpler procedure, just wondered if you found the more complicated one worthwhile. Most of us don't mind complicated (well usually!) but do, yes? somehow expect more when it is? I'll be back!

priya said...

You are very creative and so is your recipes.

ms said...

Hi vaishali,
Thanks for stopping by at my blog, foodtravails. I used the basics of your stock recipe for a cool sweet corn soup yesterday. Thanks for the stock recipe! I also tried out your MILs narayan katar recipe, cant report much success on that - I burnt them!
Happy blogging,
ms

lla said...

From cell phones users to see the specific situation of occupational segmentation in 2009, accounting for 19.5% of students dropped 21.2 percent over last year, other types of occupations than those last year, the proportion of Internet users cheap cell phones increase. White collar crowd from last year's 29.2% increase to 38.9% this year, accounting for 9.7 percentage points up to replace the student groups cellphone users as one of the biggest occupational hierarchy; blue-collar crowd from last year's 13.9% to 18.9% this year, accounting for rose by 5.0 percentage points, showing that mobile phones users by a group of students to the occupational groups a significant trend in the development. Ereli advice that, cheap cell phones and mobile phone users Internet users monthly income distribution of age, education, occupational distribution has strong correlation with high spending capacity of white-collar workers and some students in the crowd will be a huge cell phone china online potential consumer groups.

lla said...

By comparing the traditional Internet users, Internet users to iResearch found that the traditional white-collar-based, cell phones wholesale, corporate general staff accounted for 18.9%, higher than the 5.6% of the wholesale cell phones users accounting; and discount cell phones users in the years students and blue-collar workers accounted for significantly more than the traditional Internet users, respectively, accounting for 19.5% and 18.9%, higher than the traditional Internet users Students and blue-collar workers accounted for 7.8% and 5.1% respectively.

Apa Saja Dah said...

Find and download what you need at Rapidshare Search Engine.
Top Site List Free Proxy Site Free Download mp3 Michael Jackson song All Michael Jackson Lirics Oes Tsetnoc Mengembalikan Jati Diri Bangsa

viagra online said...

Hi boys!!
There is no doubt that the Asparagus Spinach Soup is super healthy almost impossible to believe. information about the item seems very important.

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀 酒店打工 酒店工作 酒店上班 酒店兼差 酒店兼職 打工兼差 打工兼職 台北酒店 酒店應徵 禮服酒店 酒店 經紀 打工 兼差

jimmychooshoes said...

jimmy choo wedges
jimmy choo wedges
jimmy choo louboutin
jimmy choo pumps
jimmy choo louboutin
christian louboutin simple pump
christian louboutin flats
christian louboutin decollete
black strappy sandals
black strappy sandals
alexander mcqueen

dfadf said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless.. video and it isn't going away. All I can do is pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal to me my part or???????!Microsoft OfficeOffice 2010If I did truly miss it....I AM SO SORRY.Microsoft Office 2010However, conservatives have little to grumble about in the recent Office 2007face-off between Barack Obama and John McCain over McCain's statement thatte vi bailar bajo la lluvia
esperando la luna llena
Volverás a reírte de verasMicrosoft Office 2007troops Sólo sé de ti últimamente por tus alteridades... Y me gustan sus rastros. ¿Y este desvelamiento Office 2010 keyfighting had concluded, Office 2010 downloadMost recently, ABC's Jake Tapper noted that at least on three occasions Obama had personally said that McCain favored cuando creas que estaba perdidovolverás a reírte de veras
continued fighting in Office 2010 ProfessionalIraq for 100 years. Tapper concluded that "Obama has in the past distorted McCain's comments" and "that he is violating his own stated si te quedas conmigoTe vi bailar bajo la lluviaesperando la luna llente vi llorar bajo la lunMicrosoft outlookaspirations...[b]ecause not only has he distorted what McCain said, he is not being honest about having made those distortions."Outlook 2010Tapper is not the only MSM reporter to point this out, Windows 7of course. It is not every day that the RNC sends around e-mail blasts quoting Frank Microsoft outlook 2010Rich ("Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for libeling John McCain") and reports from the Chicago Tribune,

vibrams said...

The louboutin heels is designed for the ladies. Since the pumps was born, the ladies life become colorful. The christian louboutin thong sandals are the god's masterwork. Who invited thechristian louboutin pumps? Seldom people knew, but I think every lady would be grateful for him. Among the countless pumps, the christian louboutin platforms is the most outstanding ones. The elegant pattern, the delicate style all mold the ladies perfect leg profile. Flowers in the spring of 2011 creeping, up from hair to clothes continue to footwear, have had a brilliant up. In such a glamor, spring and summer flowers now here. Romance is a woman's mood, exquisite flowers just right of expression in our gestures, the woman, how can we not love the romantic temperament so that they distributed the flowers do? 2011 flowers bloom will enjoy different poses!The christian louboutin wedges also can adds the hright of the ladies, it bring surprise to the short lady. Especially the red sole of the louboutin heels, magic and sexy, many ladies are crazy. The red sole, the first feature of the Christian Louboutin stroe.

Anonymous said...

you break thebuy diablo 3 Gold actual veges versus well Vaishali. this virtually appears good :-) obviously I actually dont like the pumpkin quite definitely but certainly your raita was okay easily broke up with any teaspoons involving sugar within it. RS GoldA person cut back several recollections!

nongfu380 said...

My partner and i on a regular basis e mailed this amazing site post cheapest phone site to all or any my associates, given that if prefer to readit following my personal backlinks can way too.

ada3martin said...

Weedends is great day! I really love it! Because in this day, not only can I get up late, but also I can be relaxed!!~None day can be better than Samsung case weedends! There is a important reason that we can't go to school or go to job! So happy day!