Creamy Asparagus Soup

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Nothing says "Spring is here" like seeing an abundance of asparagus in the grocery store starting around the end of March. Because I try to be a mostly seasonal eater, I go a little crazy on asparagus from March through June and then say farewell as I move on to summer produce. But when it hits the aisles in all of it's green glory, I start daydreaming about all the things I want to cook. Typically I roast it or do a quick sauté but I also love asparagus soup. This recipe is something I cooked up for my Yes, THIS! Spring Wellness Workshop. It's a breeze to make in the Instant Pot but it's also easy and doable on the stovetop. For my retreaters I sautéed some andouille sausage and shiitake mushrooms and put some at the bottom of each bowl before I ladled in the soup which added some protein and even more flavor, but it's fine without that as well.

Some people don't like the way it makes their pee smell but it doesn't bother me. Interesting fact: not everyone has the gene that makes their pee smell funny and not everyone has the gene that allows them to smell the difference. Asparagus is also a natural diuretic, has lots of vitamin K and is high in something called glutathione which is a detoxifying element that's great in fighting cancer. And, research suggests that eating asparagus can help ease hangovers and protect liver cells against alcohol's toxins because it boosts levels of key enzymes that break down the alcohol. So happy spring, and eat your asparagus!

Creamy Asparagus Soup (Instant Pot OR Stovetop)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee or coconut oil.
  • 1 large leek, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 lbs asparagus, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 3 cups chicken bone both
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Additional chopped tarragon and parsley for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” and add the ghee or coconut oil. As soon as it’s melted, add leeks, onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally, just until leeks, onions and garlic are fragrant and translucent. 
  2. Add asparagus, cauliflower, lemon juice and zest, and tarragon and stir to combine.
  3. Add broth. Make sure vegetables are mostly submerged. The Instant Pot should only be about 2/3 full. 
  4. Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button on the Instant Pot. Put Instant Pot lid on top, secure it into the locked position (always make sure the valve on the top is in the sealed position). 
  5. Press “Manual” (on HIGH pressure) and set cook time to 5 minutes. It takes several minutes to build pressure before the cooking time actually begins. 
  6. When timer sounds, turn the Instant Pot off by pressing the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button. Turn the valve to release the pressure. 
  7. Puree soup in small batches in a blender or you can use an immersion blender instead which can be easier and less messy. 
  8. Add the coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Garnish with more chopped tarragon or chopped parsley.

* if cooking this on your stovetop, use a large soup pot or dutch oven with a lid. Once you add the stock, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the asparagus and cauliflower are soft and tender. Then proceed with the recipe.

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