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Asparagus End Soup
This soup makes great use of woody asparagus ends that would otherwise be tossed. Asparagus ends have great flavor and boiling the ends softens them enough to make a delightful spring soup.
Prep Time: 15:00
Cook Time: 01:00
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
8 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches of asparagus, ends only
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
4 steamed asparagus tips (optional)
1Melt butter in heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic after butter begins to foam. Sweat onions and garlic over medium-low heat until onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes (keep heat low enough to prevent garlic from browning).
2Add asparagus ends and cook until soft. Add broth and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, add spinach and cool slightly.
3Using an immersion blender, puree until creamy, or puree in blender in small batches. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and strain any remaining large fibers through the sieve. Help the liquid through by mushing down with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Reheat soup over medium high heat until warm. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with asparagus tips, if using.
If the asparagus is older it may be bitter and the ends will also be bitter. You can add some sugar or honey to counter any bitterness. If the soup is still hot when transferring it to the blender, open the center of the lid of the blender slightly, while holding it over the hole as the mixture is pureeing. This will allow the steam to escape.
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