Sunday, March 16, 2014

Asparagus Soup Base

Just call me frugal, but I totally hated it when I discarded all those cut ends from my Asparagus. Certainly there had to be something I could make with them.  Well, the first thing I did was save all the cut ends from a variety of fresh produce and then turned them all into a Vegetable Stock.  That was great, and I love using it, but now I say save those cut ends from fresh Asparagus for this delicious Asparagus Soup Base. This is a lovely soup base to keep on hand and best made with fresh, young Asparagus ends.  Simply amazing!

2 lbs. cut ends from fresh asparagus, cut into 1/2"-1" pieces (discard any woody ends)
4 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup onion, 
1 tbls. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt/real salt
1/4 tsp. course-ground pepper

In a small saucepan with a little olive oil, saute' shallots and garlic until translucent (do not brown). Remove from heat and set aside.  

In a medium sauce pan cook chicken stock until just boiling; remove from heat.

Pack jars 3/4 full with cut asparagus ends, add equal amounts of onions, garlic, salt and pepper to each jar. 

Pour hot stock over contents to fill leaving 1" head-space. Process pint jars 75 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure using a pressure canner.

Note - When ready to make soup you will need 1/4 cup heavy cream and 2 tbls. Parmesan
cheese for each pint. In a sauce pan add the contents of a pint jar reserving a few pieces for the top of the soup.  Stir over medium heat till the soup is heated. With blender or food processor puree until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Return to pot over medium heat and add the cream. Continue to cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and add back the reserved pieces. Serve hot topped with more cheese and cooked, crumbled bacon if desired. Don't want to blend it, there's no need to. Simply stir over medium heat until the soup is heated, add cream, cooking for 3 minutes as stated above; serve as suggested. No need to can if you don't want to.  Cook as posted above, or until cut ends are very tender, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.