Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Asparagus and Cilantro Soup

While looking for new ways to use asparagus, I came across a recipe for Asparagus and Cilantro soup in The Real Food Daily Cookbook by Ann Gentry, owner of the Real Food Daily vegan restaurants in Southern California. I have to say I would never have thought of paring asparagus and cilantro, so making this recipe was a bit of a leap of faith.

The resulting soup was quite superb-very light, fresh, and flavourful. I was fortunate to have my friend Vegan Knitting on hand to do a taste test with me. She made the excellent observation that it wasn't obviously an asparagus soup. After numerous tastes, I have to say one might guess it was tomatillo-based. The soup is thin and mild, and the cilantro is in no way overpowering.

You really have to try this one for yourself. The cookbook is wonderful and innovative - check it out!

Here's the recipe (adapted from The Real Food Daily Cookbook):
2 tbsp olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
pinch chopped oregano
1 tsp. cumin
6 cups vegetable stock (I used Trader Joe's Organic Vegetable Stock)
1 large bunch of asparagus
salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic, herbs, cumin and cook 1 minute. Add the potatoes and vegetable stock, cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are softened. Prepare the asparagus by removing tough ends, cutting off the heads (save these), then slice into one inch pieces. Add the asparagus to the soup mix and cook for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is tender. While asparagus is cooking, boil a tiny amount of water and parboil the asparagus heads for 1 minute to use as a garnish).

When the asparagus is softened, puree with a handheld immersion blender. Add the finely chopped cilantro, and season to taste. Serve.


Blogger Fiber said...

I would have never thought of pairing these 2 things together. I'm a huge fan of both, so I'm interested to see how it turns out.
Thanks for the great recipe!!

3:08 AM  
Blogger K Allrich said...

I love asparagus! This soups sounds positively yummy.

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very attractive soup! I am glad I found it and will give it a try! I am soup lover (veggies, veggies!!)

5:58 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hello ladies,

I hope you enjoy this one. I think its really quite special.

Bea - thanks for visiting. I just discovered your wonderful blog!

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right! This is something to make with my new hand blender

6:52 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi Dave,
Congrats again on your quote (Fumbling Foodie was quoted on the Cheese Sandwich wars on CBSnews - check out the link on Dave's site)

Enjoy the soup!

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks again, Catherine. I made this soup last night and the whole family loved it. We are not big cilantro fans, so I was a little worried at first, but the cilantro did not overpower it at all. Very yummy.

2:01 PM  
Blogger symbol said...

I just wanted to chime in with you... I have the Real Food Daily cookbook, also. When I came across this recipe, I thought it sounded strange...but worthy of a try. It's sooo yummy! I keep sharing it with everyone. (Great cookbook, huh?)

8:39 PM  

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