Asparagus Soup

You can either find humor in stereotypes or not.

For me, it’s a combination of the two.

When I’m driving around Boston and a fellow Asian driver cuts me off or stops short, I become livid, usually exclaiming, “this is why we have this stereotype!” I may have road rage.

Yet when my mother insists that the television remote control be covered in saran wrap, I accept this as totally normal. Surely every household has remote controllers covered in saran wrap, that are wiped off every evening with a paper napkin.

“Your father, he has such greasy hands!”

Surely.

I never get annoyed with my mother when she says, “so cheap!” at the grocery store.  Instead, I nod my head, sometimes adding a few of those oranges she found on sale into my own shopping basket.

When I catch up with my friend J, hearing about the hundredth time his mother surprised him, showing up at his apartment unannounced with two suitcases full of Korean groceries, I can’t help but share when my mother does the same (last time with a pound of green tea and a kitchen sink strainer).

J and I also have this ingrained, core value of trying to never disappoint our mothers.  Growing up we were pushed hard to achieve the most academically.  And now that we’ve graduated college (it’s been a few years actually), our mothers are asking about the next phase of our lives.

“Why aren’t you in grad school?”

“When are you getting married?

“When are you having children?”

Even though J and I are opposite sexes, our inquiries are the same.

For a while, J and I were able to push them to the wayside, but the last time we spoke, he told me he was applying to medical school for 2013.  His mother and aunt recently visited and basically had an “intervention.”

For once I’m glad my mother is an only child.

I’m not ready to answer any of those questions.  I’d rather put my focus elsewhere, in the kitchen.

Hitting up the local produce stand is something I look forward to every weekend.  Johnny D’s is closed on Sundays, so Saturdays are usually the best time to go when looking for last minute deals.  And when I saw bunches of asparagus being sold for 99 cents each, I knew I had a winner.

So cheap!

.

When I had asparagus soup for the first time, I thought it was going to be watery; tasting like a bowl full of grass clippings.  Instead, I was pleased to find that it was incredibly smooth and somewhat fresh from the long, stalky springtime vegetable.

This soup is rounded out with a bit of sweetness from the carrots, a little bite from the garlic, and some heat (just in the background) from the red pepper flake.  It’s a lovely pale green that’s also a great reminder that soon enough, trees will be budding and maybe an heirloom tomato or two will make its way onto our plates.

Adapted from Creamy Oven Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Serves About 6

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Equipment

A sharp knife

A very large pot with cover (or dutch oven)

A spatula

An immersion blender or a blender (and a towel if using the blender)

Ladle

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pot)

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Half teaspoon of red pepper flake (optional)

2 medium potatoes (about the size that individually fit in the palm of your hand), cut into about half inch pieces (the smaller the dice, the faster they’ll cook)

2 medium carrots, diced

2 pounds (about 2 bunches) or asparagus, ends trimmed and then stalks and tips cut into about one inch pieces

4 cups of low sodium broth (I used homemade vegetable)

1 cup of unsweetened, unflavored soy milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

Salt to taste

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Add a tablespoon of olive oil to your pot.  Place the pot over a burner on medium heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add the diced onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the garlic and red pepper flake (if using) and stir to incorporate the ingredients.  Cook until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the potatoes, carrots and asparagus.  Stir till the ingredients are incorporated.  Add the broth.  Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat so that the ingredients are at a simmer.  Cover the pot and simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the asparagus is tender.

When the asparagus is tender and the potatoes are soft, add the soy milk and nutritional yeast.  Stir and heat the ingredients through.

With an immersion blender, blend about half of the soup, or to the consistency that you wish (I like to have some bits left whole in my soup).  If you don’t have an immersion blender, ladle some soup into your blender, but be careful to not fill more than half way.  Lid, cover with a towel (to protect your hand), and immediately blend (do not let steam build up in the blender or else you may risk of eruption and burning your hand!).  Add it back to the soup, and continue this until the soup is down to the consistency you desire.

Add salt to taste.

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