As soon as crocus and snowdrops appear outside, think spring, think fresh asparagus soup. Tis the season to enjoy the many ways of enjoying what my kids call “dragon tails” and one of my mother’s all time favorite vegetables. This recipe is from her small soup cookbook “From Jeanie’s Ladle to Your Bowl: Soups for Every Season” by Jeanie Phelps. (Serves 6)
3 cups chicken or veggie broth
2 bunches asparagus, finely chopped
1/2 onion finely chopped
3 tablespoons butter/oil mix
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup mix of milk and half & half*
1 egg for rivels
Remove tough stems from asparagus and discard, dice asparagus stems, stetting aside tips for garnish.
In small saucepan, bring 1 C of broth to boil. Add diced asparagus (not the tips) and onion. Simmer (about 4 minutes) until tender saving the liquid, drain asparagus and onion.
In medium saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Cook about 1 minute. Add milk, stirring until smooth and thickened. Continue to cook slowly at low heat about 3-5 minutes. Do not boil!
Add drained asparagus and onion to white sauce. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. (A pinch of mace and a little Spike make a nice addition also.) Remove half the mixture and puree. Return to soup pot and set aside.
Using the same saucepan which asparagus and onion were cooked, return reserved broth and bring to simmer.
Meanwhile, slightly beat egg in small bowl. As you drop this egg mixture over simmering broth (with fork in either hand), describe circles on surface, catching egg as it falls and drawing it into threads. Cover pan, let sit a minute or so.
Combine rivels and asparagus tips to soup pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away
*Milk blend depends upon what you have on hand and the calorie count you’re concerned about.