It’s always a joy when, in the chill of winter, fresh asparagus shows up, at a decent price, at the supermarket. I wait for these little stalks of green delightful flavor to show up – and hope that the patch I started last spring will come back this year and continue to gain strength so that one day they will be nice fat spears. In the meantime, I wait for sales at the store and hope I can afford a couple of pounds. Last week was a good week for asparagus so I have pulled out recipes I have wanted to make. One of them is this wonderful soup with some favorite ingredients with asparagus to enhance the flavor – bacon and Irish cheddar cheese. Now, if you can’t get Irish cheese, then get a sharp cheddar for this, but the Irish cheese is a wonderful flavor and is recommended. I served this with an oven toasted slice of Irish soda bread with butter and Irish cheese melted on it. Lovely…
Creamy Asparagus Soup with Irish Cheese
10 spears Asparagus, fresh (5-1/4″ to 7″ long)
1/2 cup Onions, raw,
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Cornstarch or Thick-It-Up
4 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 teaspoon White Pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground Thyme
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
4 slices Bacon, broken into pieces
1/4 cup Irish White Cheddar Cheese, grated
Cut asparagus into pieces except for one stalk. Cut that one into small pieces to use for garnish.
Sauté onion and butter 3 minutes in a large sauce or soup pan. Add the asparagus (except for the reserved and cook for another 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, except for about 1/4 cup. Mix cornstarch with reserved chicken broth, then add it to the pot. Mix well and just bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then cover and simmer 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
Puree mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. You may have to do this in two batches. Return to soup pot, then add cream, salt and pepper to mixture and reheat. Add parsley.
Chop reserved asparagus spear and put 1/4 of the pieces in each bowl of soup, then top with a tablespoon of cheese and 1/4 of the bacon. If the soup isn’t thick enough, the garnishes won’t float, but it won’t affect the flavor.
Nutrition Info per serving
Calories: 258 Fat: 23 g Net Carbs: 6.3 g Protein: 6.3 g
Posted on 1/28/2014