Finally autumn has reached Malta’s shores…. Temperatures are dropping, it’s a bit more windy and the evenings are quite chilly when the mercury drops under our daytime 20 degrees celsius.
Today I felt like soup. Although I’m seeing a lot of pumpkin recipes, I thought of making an alternative to a Pumpkin soup…. So I ended up making Asparagus soup instead (duh… hence the title of this blog :)).
Unfortunately, being the end of October, asparagus are not exactly in season, so I reverted to those asparagus you can find in glass jars. That way, you can keep eating asparagus all year round. Usually these asparagus are kept in liquid, which is basically water, some salt and citric acid (I think it is number E330, which is not a harmful preservative as far as I know). If you can find fresh asparagus, then I would use these, but sometimes we need to cook with what we have. 🙂
This asparagus soup is quite quick and a fairly easy recipe to follow. Below recipe makes about 1/2 litre of soup. If you want more, then just double the amounts.
- 1 jar of asparagus, which yields about 150ml of liquid and 200grammes of asparagus
- 400ml stock, I used veggie this time
- 35grammes butter
- 3.5 teaspoons flour
- pepper, salt to season
Drain the asparagus from the jar, but keep the liquid, this will be part of our soup. Slice off the tips of the asparagus, because we will use these when we serve the soup. Squeeze the liquid out of the stalks, before cutting them in 2,5cm pieces.
Take a pot, preferably with high edges, and place on a medium heat. Melt your butter, and in mean time, push your flour through a sieve, to ensure there are no lumps in there.
When the butter is melted, add the flour in, and stir until you have a smooth mass. This is called a roux and will be the basis to bind the soup. Leave this to dry out, but make sure it does not colour. Lower the temperature if needs be, we want our soup to be light in colour, not brown.
Once your roux is dry-ish, add half of the asparagus liquid and stir with a whisk, to prevent any lumps. Add the remainder and bring slowly to the boil. This is important because we are using raw flour. Uncooked flour will taste through in the soup, and is not pleasant! It will also become a thick liquid, which we will thin out by adding the stock.
Once thick and sticky, keep whisking slowly and slowly add the stock bit by bit, until you have the required thickness for the asparagus soup. Should you have made the soup too liquid, add some butter and flour to it again, and boil again, until as thick as needed. Keep in mind however, that our next step is to add the asparagus stalks and blend these in, which will thicken the soup up anyways!
Now add the stalks of the asparagus and bring to the boil again, so these will on one hand release flavour, and get real soft. This can take a good 10-15 minutes. As soon as the stalks are soft, take off the heat and set aside to cool a little.
Now we will blend the stalks into the soup. Please be careful when blending hot liquids, so you don’t burn yourself. Blend the soup in portions if you feel more comfortable doing that. Once smooth, return all the soup to the pot and heat this up again.
Taste for flavour, and season with pepper and salt as required. To serve, you can add fresh parsley and the asparagus tips. Serve with freshly grilled bread, some brie and enjoy!