“Cream” of Asparagus Soup
Plain yogurt and fluffy potatoes—Yukon Golds or Idahos work beautifully here—add richness and velvety texture without the fat and calories of cream. This is pure simplicity, but if you like, dress it up with a dollop Caramelized Onion, Tomato Confit or even a scattering of parsley leaves and an additional dollop of yogurt.
Makes about 6
cups (6 smaller or 4 larger servings)
1 medium yellow onion (5 ounces), peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil, butter or a mix of the two
3 cups vegetable broth
1 medium Yukon Gold potato (8 ounces), peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch or so lengths (see Tip)
½ cup flat (Italian) parsley leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Fit the chopping blade into the work bowl. Chop the onion on speed 7 for 8 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and remove the measuring cap from the lid. Add the oil and/or butter and cook at 100 C on speed 2 for 10 minutes.
2. Pour the broth into the work bowl and add the potatoes. Replace the measuring cap in the lid. Cook at 100 C at speed 1 for 20 minutes.
3. Add the asparagus and parsley and cook at 90 C on speed 2 for 6 minutes. Be sure both the asparagus and potatoes are tender at this point. If not continue cooking at 90 C on speed until they are tender. Remove the measuring cap from the lid and cool the soup for 20 minutes.
4. Add the low-fat plain yogurt and lemon juice.
5. Blend on speed 6 for 1 minute and 30 seconds or until very smooth. Serve hot or cold.
Tip: Even pencil asparagus can be a little “stringy” after pureeing. If that bothers you, simply strain the pureed soup through the cooking basket into a bowl, helping it along with the back of a large spoon. You’ll end up with a string-free soup with a velvety texture.
· “Cream” of Broccoli: Substitute 12 ounces of broccoli florets for the asparagus. Add 2 peeled cloves garlic to the work bowl along with the onion. Add 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed to the work bowl along with the broccoli and potato. Otherwise, proceed as above.
· “Cream” of English Pea: Substitute 1 leek, cleaned for the onion. Add only the potato to the work bowl along with the broth. (The peas will be added later). Cook at 100 C on speed 1 for 15 minutes. Add one 9-ounce bag of frozen peas and 1 teaspoon dried tarragon and cook at 100 C on speed 1 for 6 minutes. Cool and puree as above.