Monday, April 30, 2012

White Bean Soup with Roasted Asparagus

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Now that we are fully into the spring season, the wonderful tastes of the warmer weather become available.  One of our favorite spring vegetables is asparagus, which is one of the first available spring vegetables and only in season for a few weeks.  As such, we were thrilled that this weeks food matters project recipe chosen by Adrienne prominently featured asparagus.

After finding locally grown asparagus we made this easy soup on an unseasonably cold and rainy day.  We loved the creamy texture of the soup (made possible with an immersion blender) and adding crispy roasted asparagus on top was just perfect.  Bittman suggests either not pureeing the soup at all or pureeing all of it (including the asparagus), but we decided to puree the beans to have a smooth soup but leave the asparagus whole so that the flavor shined through.

Once asparagus season ends we'll certainly experiment with some other vegetables (zucchini? eggplant? roasted tomatoes?) and enjoy this soup again!

White Bean Soup with Roasted Asparagus
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook

3 tbs olive oil
2 spring onions, whites and greens, chopped
1 tbs garlic, minced
1 tbs rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained, liquid reserved
4 cups vegetable stock, bean liquid, or water
1 pound asparagus
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450*F.

Put 2 tbs of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Sauté onions until they become translucent, then add garlic and rosemary and cook for another minute.  Add white wine and scrape up any stuck on pieces on the bottom of the pot.  Add the beans and liquid and bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer soup, partially covered, for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, drizzle asparagus with remaining oil and salt and pepper and lay on a baking sheet.  Roast, turning spears halfway, until thick part of stems in tender and tops are crispy, about 15 minutes.  Once cooked, slice on diagonal into 1 inch pieces.

Puree soup using immersion blender or stand blender until smooth.  Ladle into bowl and top with asparagus and some shaved parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.