Now I’m not sure if I should actually admit this, but I wasn’t quite positive when St. Paddy’s Day actually was this year (was it Saturday, when the bars were promoting their St. Paddy’s specials- or Sunday with everyone running races wearing green shirts and finishing it off with a beer?!) But I soon found out it’s actually Monday- today- just in time for my very last minute, hastily planned, green-themed post.
There was a time, not too long ago, when I lived for holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. It was an excuse to go out with friends and drink green beer and get annihilated and brag I’m .0347y8% Irish (so kiss me!) But now (in my old age) I’d prefer to plan out a celebratory dish to share with you all, which isn’t hard considering I love pretty much all green food (so.many.delicious.options!)
And the winner was this tasty, fresh, oh-so-seasonal and super healthy cream of asparagus soup (without any actual cream!) Now I’m sure this doesn’t sound like the most exciting of recipes (I myself was hesitant) but this dish is surprisingly delicious (just ask MLB- he licked his bowl clean)! Spring asparagus shines in this soup and fresh herbs, shallots, garlic, leeks, olive oil and quality seasonings keep it interesting and add just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the veggie. Pureeing the soup at the end creates a creamy, lovely texture that help this soup go down easily. Oh and have I mentioned just how good for you it is??
Here are five quick facts about asparagus you should know-
1. It prevents bloating- Asparagus has 288 mg of potassium and is very low in sodium, which means it assists in creating the proper electrolyte balance in the body- i.e.- reduced puffiness and bloating. Thus this soup is the perfect antidote to consume in preparation for a night of heavy beer drinking!
2. It’s rich in fiber- Thus it helps to cleanse the digestive tract and supports ongoing detoxification (Spring Break, anyone?!)
3. It promotes healthy, youthful skin. Asparagus contains high levels of both Vitamin A and glutathione which is an antioxidant that helps scavenge free radicals. Who doesn’t want that?
4. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin K, which promotes proper bone formation and repair by helping your body to absorb calcium.
5. It makes your pee smell FUNKY. This is because your body breaks down asparagus during digestion into sulfur-containing chemicals that give your urine a distinctive odor. Apparently not everyone is affected though. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones.
And on that note….
Cream of Asparagus Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegan butter such as Earth Balance
2 medium- sized leeks, chopped
1 large shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp fresh thyme
fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp honey (or another vegan sweetener such as maple syrup)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional but adds cheesy flavor)
2 1/2 pounds (2 large bunches) fresh asparagus, ends removed and chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1. Add olive oil and vegan butter in a large pot over medium heat. Once it’s warmed through and foamy add in chopped leeks and shallots and saute for about 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Add minced garlic and saute another minute. Then add sea salt, thyme and black pepper.
2. Immediately add in chopped asparagus, vegetable broth and honey. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, which is just enough for the asparagus to cook and still retain it’s fresh flavor. Take off the stove to cool and add in nutritional yeast.
3. Puree with an immersion blender, top with fresh thyme (and coconut cream if you desire) and serve alongside a green salad.
Revel in your mean, green soup making skills. Happy St. Paddy’s Day, Betches!!!