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White Asparagus Soup Recipe

Spargelzeit means that many family favorite asparagus recipes will have their annual airing during the two months Germany's asparagus season is in full flow, and one of the most popular is an asparagus soup, Spargelcremesuppe, normally using as a base stock made from peelings, stalks and water left after one of hundreds of other 'Spargel' specialties has been cooked.

Here are two very different recipes for Spargelzeit's Deutsche Spargel Suppe, White Asparagus Soup, one 'Fein' and the other 'Rustikal'.


CREAMY WHITE ASPARAGUS SOUP

Ingredients for 4 portions:

2 Shallots
1 lb white asparagus (for soup it does not need to be 'best quality')
4 oz potato
1.1/2 oz butter
2.1/4 cups asparagus water if possible, (made from asparagus trimmings and stalks, cooked, left overnight to absorb flavor and drained), otherwise vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream
Salt
Pepper � freshly ground if possible
Sugar
Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives or 2 tablespoons almond slices lightly roasted without fat in a skillet (optional)

Method:

Chop the peeled potato and shallots into small dice
Peel the asparagus and break off where the hard end begins (save peelings and end pieces to make asparagus stock for later use)

Place four of the asparagus stalks into a damp cloth and put aside
Slice the rest into 1/2 inch pieces
Melt 1 oz of the butter, add shallots and lightly fry until transparent, about 2 minutes
Add chopped potato and asparagus to shallots and cook for further 5 minutes
Add the asparagus water or broth, wine if using, and cream
Stir, bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer over a medium heat for about 25 minutes

Puree until smooth.
Add salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and a squeeze of lemon

Cut the remaining four asparagus stalks into thin slices, leaving tips whole
Melt remainder of butter and add the asparagus slices and tips
Fry lightly for about 5 minutes until softened
Sprinkle with a little salt and a pinch sugar
Stir

Add fried asparagus slices and tips to puree, stirring bring back to heat

Leave 'as is', or decorate with finely chopped chives or roasted almonds, but be sure each bowl had one asparagus tip.


AND HERE IS A MORE RUSTIC VERSION


WHITE ASPARAGUS CREAM SOUP

Ingredients for 4 portions:

1lb Asparagus
6.1/3 cups Asparagus water, vegetable or chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon salt
Sugar
Teaspoon butter
Pepper � freshly ground if possible
Salt
Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mild ground paprika
1.1/2 ounces butter
1.1/2 ounces flour
1 egg yolk beaten
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

Method:

Wash and peel asparagus, break off woody stems, cut stalks into pieces about 1 1 / 2 inches long
Cook in asparagus water or broth, with pinch salt, pinch sugar and teaspoon butter until they are firm to the bite
Drain the asparagus, keeping the cooking water
Make a roux base from the butter and flour. Melt the butter, stirring gradually add the flour until incorporated, cook over low heat for a minute or two, then slowly add water in which asparagus was cooked
Bring to boil stirring
Lower heat and add asparagus pieces
Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, nutmeg and ground paprika to taste
Bring to low boil then simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the asparagus is fork tender
While stirring add beaten egg yolk and cream
Do not boil but bring back to temperature over medium heat, stirring constantly

Serve decorated with chopped chives


Whichever you choose ENJOY your German Spargelzeit Asparagus Soup.


The recipes can of course be made with green asparagus, when there is no need to peel the stalks, but unlike the subtle flavor of white asparagus the taste will be heartier.


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Image of Deutsche Spargel Suppe by Matthias Haupt


Stalking The Wild Asparagus is not about Germany's White Asparagus, but it does include the wild variety, and what a fun book it is. Euell Gibbons devoted part of his life to the adventure of "living off the land" in the USA. Seeking out wild plants, which he made into delicious dishes. Plants he gathered and prepared in this book are widely available everywhere in North America, and there are recipes for everything from vegetable and casserole dishes to pies, jellies and wines.

And of course you could always grow your own with "Mary Washington Asparagus Plants", just ridge soil around the crowns and you will have white asparagus in a year or two, which will keep producing for perhaps 20 years. Long enough to make all sorts of white asparagus recipes.


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