Yesterday I stopped to buy a bunch on East Street in Hadley. I had no small bills, so was forced to use the quarters and dimes we save for parking meters. As I was counting the coins, a small old man literally appeared smoking a cigar. He said that since there were two bunches left, I might as well take them both. I told him that I only had the coins for one. That's not what I mean, he said. Take them both. Last night we ate one bunch, and now I have another bunch in the fridge I must admit perhaps now not quite as fresh as the first.
I made some Asparagus soup two weeks ago and am making some now using leftovers. This is today's recipe for the soup and our family instructions for cooking "grass".
How to Cook Asparagus
- 1 bunch or 1 lb. asparagus
- Snap off bottom most segment of each asparagus. It's fun and makes a nice noise. Discard.
- Rinse asparagus thoroughly and lay in a wide frying pan or sauté pay with 1/4 inch of water
- Put on stove, cover, and cook on high flame for 1-3 minutes depending upon the thickness of stalks and whether you like them crunchy or soft. I poke them with a sharp knife after a minute to see if they are done.
- 1/2 to 1 lb. steamed asparagus from last night, coarsely chopped
- 1 to 2 cups chopped onions
- 1/2 to 1 cup sliced carrots
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil or both, too much is OK, since this is soup
- 3 to 4 cups chicken broth
- 6 ounces grated cheddar cheese (optional)
- Salt pepper to taste
- Sauté onions in butter on med-low heat for as long as you can stand, about 20 minutes. They get sweeter the more you cook them, but don't burn them. Stir occasionally.
- Add carrots about 10 minutes into the cooking of the onions. Stir.
- Add asparagus and 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper, cook for another 15 minutes, stir some more.
- Add 1/4 of chicken broth and buzz in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add more broth to the blender if it seems too thick to blend.
- Return to pot, add rest of the chicken broth. If you want to do the compulsive French thing and impress people, then pour it through a fine strainer. It's probably worth it, since it will impress yourself. Tip: use a bit of chicken broth to clean off the blender blades and dump this liquid into the pot.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with grated cheddar in each bowl or if you need to put grated cheddar directly in the pot, remember the cheese will make your pot harder to clean, but the dishwasher, if you have one, won't complain about cleaning the bowl.