Big Pot of Springtime

 OK, so it's a little early in the season for local asparagus, but asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables and I made this soup today so I thought I'd post a recipe and a couple pictures...and nothing ushers in springtime more than asparagus (I think). The recipe I'm including is a slight variation of the one in the pictures being prepared (but don't I always do this...variations?). The main difference is that the recipe makes about 4 cups (.95L) of soup (maybe a little more) whereas the one being prepared in the photos made about 10 gallons U.S. (37.85L). The other difference is that I used Cheddar cheese instead of Roquefort (whatever your favorite cheese will work). The orange-ish squiggles are made with roast red pepper puree...not essential to the soup, but it looks nice and adds a bit of flavor (pictures of it being applied to the soup follow the recipe). To view this recipe in it's original publication (at Buffalo Spree), click here. To read more of what I have to say about asparagus at Alternet, click here; and to view many more of my recipes at that same site, click here.
Cream of Asparagus and Roquefort Soup
Yield: 4 cups
1 pound asparagus
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup crumbled Roquefort Cheese

Trim the asparagus of their fibrous ends and slice the remaining portion into 1/2 inch lengths; reserve the asparagus tips separately to use as a garnish in the soup. Heat the butter in a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent. Stir in the flour, lower the heat, and cook the flour for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Add the sliced asparagus (not the tips), salt, thyme and pepper; sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and return to high heat. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook the soup for 10 minutes, skimming as necessary. Stir in the cream and bring to a boil. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. Add the reserved asparagus tips and bring it to a simmer and stir in the Roquefort cheese. Serve while hot.