I love asparagus! As Connie notes, asparagus can be used in a number of ways. Last week I served a delicious hors d’oeuvre; bacon wrapped asparagus. It was full of calories, but oh so good! Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!
Spring has sprung…and fresh spring vegetables are beginning to show up in the grocery stores and at farmers’ markets. One of the first vegetables to make a spring appearance is asparagus. Asparagus is low in calories and sodium, plus it is a good source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, dietary fiber, protein, and many other nutrients. This tender stalk vegetable is most delicious steamed crisp tender with just a little butter, salt and pepper. But, it can certainly be added to a number of dishes making them fresh and more flavorful.
Add asparagus to your favorite stir fry for a quick supper. Or, wrap thinly sliced roast beef around crisp-tender asparagus for an elegant, but easy to prepare, hors d’oeuvre. Asparagus, cherry tomatoes and black olives can be added to a simple pasta salad, then topped with feta cheese and toasted pine nuts for a Greek-inspired side dish. Steam your asparagus as little as possible to retain those healthy vitamins and minerals.
When I was little, my grandmother would collect the spring asparagus from around the fence line on the farm, and we would have this sweet spring vegetable on Easter Sunday. She would always make Asparagus Soup, and each time she served it, it was a little bit different than before. That’s because, as with so many seasoned cooks, she didn’t really follow a recipe for many of her dishes. She just added a little of this and a little of that until it was perfection. So, after a number of tries, I’ve re-created my grandma’s recipe for Asparagus Soup and I’ve made it a little lighter, cutting the fat and calories of the original.
Buy your asparagus when it is fresh and on sale. Asparagus likes sandy soil and grows well when there’s plenty of moisture, so the crop should be good this spring. The ends are a little tough, so be sure to trim your asparagus ends about 1 inch. Serve your Asparagus Soup with garlic toast or seasoned croutons for a little crunch. Make it hearty by adding ½ cup elbow macaroni to the asparagus and cook until al dente. Enjoy!
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
14 oz. low sodium vegetable broth
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 c. low fat milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Place asparagus and broth in medium saucepan and bring to low boil. Cook asparagus until crisp tender. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add flour stirring constantly 1 minute forming a roux. Add milk and stir until slightly thickened. Add asparagus and broth and stir well. Reduce heat to low and cook 3 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste.