Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Soup
You can use green or white asparagus in the following mushroom soup recipe, since either kind would go well. White asparagus is more seasonal though and you might not be able to find it. Green asparagus is available all the time, either locally produced or imported.
If you are using white asparagus, it has to be peeled. The outside is fibrous and slightly bitter-tasting. Use an asparagus peeler or a vegetable peeler to peel it. If you do not have a peeler, you can use a sharp vegetable knife but this will result in more wastage. When you have peeled the whole stalk (except the tip) cut the ends off, about an inch from the base. This way, if you have omitted any fibers you can see them and take them off. Keep your peeled white asparagus wrapped in damp kitchen paper until you are ready to cook it.
White asparagus is like caviar to a vegetarian and the following soup is perfect vegetarian fare. It is also a nice appetizer for meat eaters. This soup has a good texture but if you want it extra thick, you can add some potatoes to it. Parboil these in advance and then add them to the soup when you add the other vegetables, so they can finish cooking and become soft. Chop them into very small pieces so they cook faster. The soup is going to be pureed anyway. You can use any kind of potatoes. If you do not want to use potatoes, the soup will be just as good but not quite as thick.
- 5 oz asparagus, in 1 inch pieces
- 5 oz sliced mushrooms
- ½ diced onion
- 4 chopped garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 3 chopped shallots
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 1 pint boiling water
- Black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Sauté the onions and shallots in a pan with the butter.
- Dissolve the vegetable stock cubes in the water and pour this into the pot.
- Add the asparagus, mushrooms, mustard, garlic, and black pepper.
- When the mushrooms wilt, turn the heat right down, and then add the cream.
- It is important to have the temperature low when adding the cream, else the soup might curdle.
- Reserve some of the asparagus (preferably the tips) to use as a garnish and puree the remainder of the soup.
- Serve garnished with the reserved asparagus and some fresh parsley.
Asparagus and mushrooms go together in many different recipes. There are asparagus and mushroom risottos, pasta dishes, stir-fries and more. In this recipe, the mushrooms and asparagus complement each other’s flavor and the other ingredients in this recipe bring it all to life. This is a rich and creamy soup which makes a good appetizer or entree. You can choose from white or green asparagus but green asparagus would be the better choice if you want the soup to me more colorful. The mustard and garlic add a wonderful taste, really enriching the soup.
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