Asparagus is one of the freshest spring ingredients. It’s important that you store asparagus properly in order to keep it fresh. Wrap the ends of the asparagus in a damp paper or cloth towel and store in the fridge. Make sure you eat within 48 hours as it starts to go bad quickly. Asparagus is one of the earliest spring crops to arrive. If you live in California you may have already seen asparagus at the farmers markets in February.
Asparagus contains the king of all antioxidants – Glutathione! Glutathione actually recycles other antioxidants. It also is a good source of inulin a prebiotic important for a healthy colon. It’s also got an impressive amount of B vitamins important for proper digestion of carbohydrates and blood sugar regulation and often depleted in times of stress. For those of you who have a tough time getting to sleep a single serving of asparagus also supplies you with the sleep inducing hormone tryptophan.
Now that I have you convinced to add a bit more asparagus let me supply you with a delicate flavoured cream of asparagus soup! I made this for a family dinner and got some rave reviews. I served it as a starter with a second course green salad and a third course raw beet ravioli with herb cashew cheese and an orange pepper foam. Ate the leftovers (I had to hide the extra in the fridge so I could have some for lunch the next day) for lunch with a side of snap peas and zucchini humus.
- 1 bunch of fresh asparagus - hard ends cup off and the rest chopped
- 3 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
- 1 can of coconut milk or 2/3 cup of fresh young thai coconut meat blended in the blender with 1 cup water
- 1 L tetra pack of vegetable broth or 1 L water
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt to taste
- pinch of pink Australian finishing salt (optional)
- fresh tarragon leaves
- pistachio walnut Parmesan (recipe to come!)
- fresh grated lemon rind
- fresh cracked pepper
- Place all ingredients in sauce pan and simmer for 20min until asparagus is bright in colour but not looking dull.
- Remove Bay leaf.
- In batches pour soup into blender or use a hand held immersion blender to puree in pot. Make sure if you are using the blender that you place a towel on top of the lid and hold the lid down as you blend - lets avoid a kitchen explosion.
- Garnish and serve!