A healthy and refreshing vegetable soup recipe, this cream of asparagus uses yogurt instead of cream for a lower-calorie dish. Asparagus is sautéed in wild leeks and garlic and combined with white turnip, vegetable stock, and white wine to make a simple yet invigorating and elegant soup. The soup is pureed in the blender to get a smooth and creamy consistency and garnished with yogurt and cilantro. You can serve as easy appetizers or as a main healthy dinner dish with some crusty bread. You can also enjoy this delicious cream of asparagus soup either hot or chilled.
Spring is the best season for preparing and cooking asparagus, although it is generally available the whole year. Select young asparagus with firm and bright green spears. The tips should be tight and perky and appear healthy not mushy or limp. Asparagus spears can be as thin as a pencil; the fatter ones are the more mature vegetables. The thinner asparagus are more tender and crisp while the thicker ones have a meatier and crunchier texture. If you are using thick asparagus for making soup, peel off the woody and tough exterior with a vegetable peeler.
Ingredients: 4 wild leeks OR 1 yellow onion, diced, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 tbsp cooking oil, 4C asparagus, chopped (1 bunch), 1 small, white turnip, peeled and diced, 5 C vegetable stock, 1 C white wine, ¼ C fresh cilantro, chopped OR 1 tbsp dried cilantro, 1 C plain yogurt, Extra cilantro for garnish
Wash and chop asparagus, discarding any woody stems. Wash and prepare the rest of the vegetables according to the ingredients list. In the soup pot, combine oil, garlic, and leeks and sauté until softened. Add the asparagus, turnip, vegetable stock, wine, and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the asparagus and turnips are very tender. Using the blender, blend the soup in batches until smooth (put the pureed soup into the large mixing bowl if you can’t blend it all in one batch). Return pureed soup in soup pot, add yoghurt and heat through without boiling. Garnish with extra cilantro, serve and enjoy.
Choose asparagus that are uniform in size and as much as possible, cook it on the same day that you buy it. But you can wrap the bases of the asparagus with a damp paper towel and keep it in a plastic bag inside the refrigerator for up to four days. Alternatively, you can place the asparagus upright in a jar or container filled with an inch of water. Cove the asparagus tips and the container with a plastic bag. Asparagus is grown in sandy soils so rinse them very well with cold water before cooking. For larger asparagus spears, bend it until it snaps and throw away the woody end.