Asparagus is one of my go-to foods to brighten my mood!
Here in Michigan, asparagus grows wild by the side of the road. When I see that, it’s a sure sign Spring has sprung.
Asparagus is actually related to the lily family. Green asparagus is most commonly seen type. You may also find white or purple varieties. The white asparagus plant is grown underground to prevent the chlorophyll from developing. The purple asparagus, which is called viola, turns green while cooking.
When purchasing asparagus, choose thin, tender spears with tightly closed tips. It may be stored in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag, for about three days. Another way of storing it is to trim the ends and place in a glass of water, tips up. The tips may be covered with plastic to prevent drying.
There are many ways to prepare asparagus: soups, salads, sandwiches, breads, sauces, to name a few.
Here’s one of my favorites:
Asparagus Quinoa Soup
1 pound of asparagus, woody ends broken or cut off
6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock. Use canned or homemade
½ cup onion, finely chopped
½ cup potato, shredded
1 sweet red pepper, julienne sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cooked quinoa
Click here cooking directions
1.Cut tips from asparagus spears and set aside. Cut spears into 1 inch pieces.
2.In a large saucepan, bring stock or broth to a boil.
3.Add asparagus pieces, onion and potato. Simmer until asparagus is tender; about 20 minutes.
4.In a small saucepan of boiling water, add asparagus tips.
5.Simmer until tender, about 5 minutes.
6.Carefully pour broth with asparagus, onion and potato into a blender or food processor. Puree soup until smooth. Strain, if necessary, to remove any woody particles remaining from asparagus.
7.Return to saucepan and add cooked quinoa.
8.Heat until very warm, not boiling.
9.Season to taste with salt and pepper.
10.Divide into 6 bowls. Garnish with sweet red pepper and asparagus tips.
Nutrition facts (approx)
123 cal; 12grams carbohydrate; 9grams protein; 4.5grams fat