Local asparagus is a sure sign that spring has arrived. Try this asparagus soup warm or cold with local asparagus from Fifer Orchards in Delaware Total Time: 50 minutes Servings: 6 appetizer servings, 1 generous cup each
This lemony asparagus soup is spiced with a touch of curry and gets added richness from "lite" coconut milk and creamy red potatoes. Top it with a dollop of crème fraîche or plain yogurt and serve warm or chilled.
2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided 2 cups diced peeled red potatoes 3 cups vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 cup “lite” coconut milk 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces trimmed asparagus, (about 1 bunch) Freshly ground pepper to taste 1/4 cup crème fraîche, or reduced-fat sour cream (see Note) 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion greens, or fresh chives
Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder, ginger, lemon zest and potatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk and asparagus. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, partially cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender (in batches) until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Whisk crème fraîche (or sour cream), lemon juice and scallion greens (or chives) in a small bowl and garnish with a swirl of it.
Tips & Notes
Crème fraîche is a tangy, thick, rich cultured cream commonly used in French cooking. Find it in the dairy section, usually near other specialty cheeses. Sour cream can be used as a substitute, or you can make your own lower-fat version by combining equal portions of reduced-fat sour cream and nonfat plain yogurt.