Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Asparagus

Cold Asparagus Soup

Appetizer, Dinner, SoupTove Balle-PedersenComment
Cold Asparagus Soup

Cold Asparagus Soup

I have always known an asparagus soup as a white hot creamy soup. And there is nothing wrong with the classic soup, not at all. But for me it's more a soup for the winter months. The fine new delicate white asparagus you're able to get in the stores or farmers markets in the spring has a sweet and delicate taste, which is perfect in a cool soup like this. 

Serves 10 as an appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches white asparagus, washed, peeled and sliced, save the tops for later
  • 3 leeks, only the white part, washed and sliced
  • 750 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon chicken paste (I use Better than Bouillon*)
  • ¾ cup (1½ dl) white wine, use a non oaky one
  • ½ cup (1 dl) dry sherry (I used a cooking sherry)
  • 227 g creme fraiche (I used Cowgirl Creamy Creme Fraiche)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Toppings:

  • dry chorizo, thinly sliced and fried to crispy
  • asparagus tops (save some of the tops, and blanch them briefly)

Directions:

Bring water, chicken paste, wine and sherry to a simmer in a medium pot over high heat. Add asparagus and leeks and cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 8-12 minutes, for thin to medium thick asparagus. Transfer asparagus and leeks to a blender with a small amount of the liquid. Add the creme fraiche and some of the lemon juice, and blend until smooth. Add more of the cooking liquid if the blended soup is too thick.  Season the soup with salt and lemon juice.

In the leftover cooing liquid, give the asparagus tops a quick blanching. (Bring to a boil, and quickly cool down in ice water.) Put the tops in the refrigerator.

Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. 

Just before serving fry up the chorizo until crispy.

Serve the soup in small glass bowls with a small amount of topping.

Enjoy.

 

* I use Better Than Bouillon pastes in my dishes. I think it has a better flavor than the dry bouillon cubes or other brand name stocks. And I think that the paste has seen real ingredients like chicken, beef and vegetables. But I do believe that du get the best flavor by using your own homemade stock. But to be honest, I rarely have time to make homemade stocks. 

Inspired by "Spise med Price"

The Danish version:

 

Kold aspargessuppe

10 portioner som forret. 

Ingredienser:

  • 2 Bundter hvide asparges, vaskede, skrællede, gem toppene til senere.
  • 3 porrer, kun den hvide del, vaskede og skivede
  • 750 ml vand
  • 1 spsk kyllinge pasta eller en hønsebouillonterning
  • 1½ dl hvidvin
  • 1 dl tør sherry 
  • 227 g creme fraiche (minimum 18%, men helst 38%)
  • 2 spsk citronsaft
  • salt efter smag

Toppings:

  • chorizo, tyndskåret og stegt sprød
  • aspargestoppe (blancheret kort)

Fremgangsmåde:

Kog vand, bouillon, vin og sherry op i en gryde sammen med de skrællede asparges (minus hovederne) og porrer. Kog indtil aspargesne er møre, men stadig har lidt bid. ca.  8-12 minutter, alt efter tykkelse. Kom de kogte porrer og asparges over i en blender sammen med lidt af kogelagen, creme fraiche og lidt af citronsaften. Blend det indtil du får en jævn og ensartet suppe. Tilsæt mere af kogelagen, hvis suppen bliver for tyk. Smag suppen til med salt og citronsaft.

I den overskydende kogelage blancheres aspargeshovederne. (De bringes i kog og køles hurtigt ned i isvand.) Kom de blancherede hoveder i køleskabet indtil de skal bruges.

Afkøl suppen i køleskabet i minimum 3 timer før servering, eller natten over.

Lige før suppen skal serveres steges tynde skiver af choizoen til den bliver sprød.

Server suppen i små glasskåle eller glas, og kom lidt aspargeshoveder og choizo på toppen.

Velbekomme!

Asparagus with Parmesan

Dinner, Sides, VegetablesTove Balle-PedersenComment
Asparagus with Parmesan

Asparagus with Parmesan

My first memory of asparagus is from my parents vacation house. They had a big asparagus bush, in the middle of one of the flower beds. I remember my mom, breaking of some of the small asparagus shoots just out of the ground. There would only be a few shoots every month, and my parents ate them like a snack, only washed and completely raw. 

I don't remember having asparagus for dinner other than the canned version, but maybe we did.

As adult I really love asparagus, it's a really easy side to prepare, whether you grill, boil or eat them raw in a salad.

This is one of my favorite ways to cook asparagus. The cream gets infused with the taste of asparagus, and the salty/nutty parmesan completes the dish. Actually if you just add some boiled fresh pasta, you can call it dinner.

What are you looking for when you buy asparagus?

Look for spears that are nice and firm, best of all is if you can find locally grown asparagus in season. Enjoy asparagus the day you purchase them, or wrap the bases in a damp paper towel, place in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to a few days.

I like the thinner asparagus, but if you are going to grill them, I would go for the thicker ones, so they won’t dry out, while grilling.

The most delicate part of the asparagus is the top of the spear.

How to prepare asparagus for cooking

When you prepare your asparagus for cooking, there are 2 schools. Either you cut the ends off and/or peel them, or you snap off the ends. I like to snap the ends off. 

Hold each stalk about half way down its length and at the thick end. Now bend it until it snaps. Discard the  little stub, or use it for flavor in a soup or casserole. 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch green asparagus
  • butter or oil, just to cover the bottom of the skillet
  • 100 ml whipping cream
  • ¼-½ cup (1 dl) parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Directions:

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and cook for about 5 minutes, turning asparagus to ensure even cooking. The asparagus will turn more vibrant green. Ad the cream, and cook it down to about half. Add the half of the parmesan, and stir until the cheese is melted. Plate the asparagus and sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

The Danish version

Asparges med Parmesan

Til 4 personer

Ingredienser:

  • 1 bundt grønne asparges
  • smør eller olie, kun nok til at dække bunden af panden
  • 1 dl piskefløde
  • 1 dl parmesan, revet

Directions:

Smelt smørret på panden og steg aspargesne i ca 5 minutter, vend den undervejs, så de ale bliver tilberedt samtidig. Aspargesne bliver mere klargrønne af opvarmningen. Tilsæt fløden, og kog den ind til ca. halvdelen. Tilsæt så halvdelen af osten. Rør rundt i "saucen" indtil osten er smeltet. Server Aspargesen med resten af osten drysset over.

Velbekomme!

Green Asparagus Soup

Dinner, SoupTove Balle-PedersenComment
Green Asparagus Soup

Green Asparagus Soup

Asparagus soup is white, right? I always thought so. The frozen and canned asparagus soup I've seen in Danish stores where all white. But why not use the tasty green asparagus for soup? It could be a healthier option than the white creamed soup that I've always known.

I got the inspiration from Giada de Laurentis cook book "Weeknights with Giada" where she made a green asparagus soup with goat cheese as a topping. I tweaked the recipe to fit my taste and this is my take on it:

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

Soup: 

  • 2 teaspoon butter

  • 150 g Leeks

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • a pitch of yellow mustard seeds

  • 2 bunches of asparagus

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 2-3 tablespoons chicken base (Better than Bouillon reduced sodium)

  • 1 quart boiling water

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)

  • 1-2 fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings: 

  • dry chorizo, thinly sliced and fried to crispy

  • asparagus tops (save some of the tops, and fry them briefly)

  • Goat cheese mixed with finely chopped fresh basil and a splash heavy whipping cream.

Directions: 

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In a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When hot, add the leeks and the mustard seeds, cook, stirring constantly until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, be careful not to get any colour on the leeks. Add wine, stock, water, asparagus. Bring soup to a simmer and cook until the asparagus are tender about 7-10 minutes.

Blend the soup smooth with a immersion blender or a regular blender. Be careful when working with hot soup in a blender.  If you need a new blender, consider a Vitamix. They are expensive, but they are worth all the money. They can liquefy almost anything and makes soup and margaritas so smooth and creamy. But the best part, you can blend hot soups without having to clean the soup of all your kitchen cabinets afterwards. Just saying. ;)

Season the the soup with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve the soup hot with the toppings. Enjoy!