Every year I look forward to spring, and when the season finally arrives in my garden, I savor it. I bathe my breathe in its flowery fragrances and my taste buds in its bountiful bunches of young produce. Spring and summer mark the time of year when I finally have vast amounts of food at my fingertips. Growing up in the country, I was never able to just hop in the car at last minute’s notice and take a trip to the store. Every grocery store from my parents’ house requires at least a 30-minute drive, which means usually there’s some planning involved before those kind of trips were taken.
But we always had a garden. So whenever the weather warmed up and springtime finally blossomed, we always had produce galore. Even now that I live in Philadelphia, with a store just 5 minutes away, I still look forward to that backyard grocery store. I don’t have the money to buy pounds and pounds of asparagus at the store, but I can always come home and pick from our garden more than I can possibly carry, or eat for that matter. I’m excited to spend a little time at home this summer and be surrounded by fresh veggies. It always inspires me to concoct some sort of kitchen creation, like the soup I made yesterday afternoon.
With a ton of asparagus in the fridge, and having already been consuming mass quantities all week, I decided to transform the pee-transforming veggie into a creamy delight. This soup calls on just a few ingredients, but it’s packed with flavor. Pureeing the asparagus provides that creamy texture while keeping it light, and mint makes the soup all the more refreshing. Serve hot or cold.
Vegan Asparagus Mint Soup
(Makes 4 bowls of soup)
-40 medium asparagus stalks
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 vegetable bouillon cubes dissolved into two cups of water
-1/4 tsp. pepper
-Pinch of salt, to taste
-1 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup mint
Set aside 8 of the asparagus stalks, and place them in a steamer basket over a large pot of boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes, until just tender. Cut remaining asparagus stalks into 1-inch pieces.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high. Saute onions 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add chopped asparagus, pepper, and broth. Cover, and simmer 8-10 minutes, until asparagus are tender.
Remove from heat, and transfer contents into a food processor (or blender). Puree until creamy. Taste, and season with salt. Add mint, and puree until smooth.
Garnish with mint and asparagus, or cut steamed asparagus into 1-inch pieces and stir into soup.