Sunday, December 1, 2013
It's definitely a warm soup kind of Autumn here in Massachusetts. I've been making a lot of bean and lentil soups lately, but yesterday I looked in my freezer and realized I've been collecting the woody asparagus ends for quite some time now, and it's probably time to do something with them. I eat at least a pound of asparagus every week, so I had probably 200-300 ends saved! I went online and learned making asparagus stock is as easy as boiling the leftover ends in water for about an hour and suddenly you have a delicious vegetable stock that's basically free. I happened to have onions, garlic, and potatoes on hand, so I made the easiest and cheapest soup ever! Oh, and by the way, my husband even loved it enough to have seconds. That's definitely a bonus!!
Asparagus and Potato Soup
Simmer asparagus ends in fresh water for an hour, or until mushy. Strain. Discard ends and keep the stock. Set aside until ready to add to soup, or let cool and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Add some olive oil to a large soup pot that's heated to medium. Add one diced onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add two or three minced fresh garlic cloves to the onion and sauté for another few minutes. Meanwhile, dice up a bunch of washed, but unpeeled potatoes. Keep adding to the onion and garlic mixture. I probably used about 12 medium sized potatoes.
Season the mixture with salt and pepper and add a couple bay leaves. Pour in enough asparagus stock to cover the potatoes by a couple inches. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 30 minutes or so. Blend with an immersion blender or let cool for a few minutes before blending in batches in a blender or food processor. You may need to reheat the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste after blending.
Serve with warm crusty bread and top with freshly steamed or sautéed asparagus spears.
I have enough soup to last me two lunches and two more dinners and it probably cost me no more than two dollars to make. The crusty bread I bought to go with it cost three dollars, but it was so big that I have enough to go with the lunches, plus it was GMO free. Talk about affordable!
I do not ever peel my potatoes because that is where the most nutritious part of a potato is. Why throw away the best part?!