Asparagus are still in season here, but that doesn’t mean they are cheap. So when I saw they were on sale for only two days for a very good price I rushed to the supermarket to get some of them, only to find out why they were this cheap…
Have you ever seen such giants? Not a very pretty sight when you want to serve this in a more traditional way with a boiled egg, slices of ham and some potatoes… Each plate would only have one asparagus on it, a half-a-pound asparagus…I bought them anyway, even though they looked more like tree trunks than asparagus. I needed them for a soup, and in a blended state it really doesn’t matter what they looked like before, does it?
As you can see I bought white asparagus for his recipe. There is some difference between the white and green variant. The green ones don’t have to be peeled an can be eaten raw in a salad. The white ones should be cooked, grilled, steamed or roasted.
White asparagus comes from a process called etiolation, which is the deprivation of light. Dirt is kept mounded around the emerging stalk, depriving it of light. The plant cannot produce chlorophyll without light, so there is no green color to the stalks. The process of etiolation is pretty labor intensive, that’s exactly the reason why white asparagus are so expensive.
As for nutritional value and health benefits let’s look at this:
“One serving of asparagus is equivalent to about two-thirds cup or five large spears. For white asparagus, that quantity contains 20 calories, no fat, 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of natural sugar. The same amount of green asparagus offers 25 calories, 2.75 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs, 2.7 grams of fiber and 2.4 grams of natural sugar.
Both white and green varieties of asparagus have beneficial health properties. The healthy compounds in green asparagus differ from those found in the white vegetable, however. According to a 2005 “Food Chemistry” study published by Washington State University researchers, green asparagus is a rich source of the antioxidants rutin, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, glutathione and ferulic acid. White asparagus also contains antioxidants including phenolic acids and flavonoids; however, according to “Acta Horticulturae,” white asparagus spears have an overall lower antioxidant content than green spears.
The way you prepare asparagus spears of either color also makes a difference in their final nutritional content. Both spears have refuse in their woody stems, for example, but buying and preparing equal quantities of white and green asparagus may give you fewer calories with the white variety because it needs to be peeled before you eat it.”
This soup recipe combines very well with yesterday’s Potato Thyme Scones. Enjoy my tree trunk, uhh, asparagus soup!
Asparagus Rosemary Soup
cooked vegan, serves 4
* 600 grams of white asparagus
* 1 medium sized potato
* 1 medium sized yellow onion
* 3 cloves of garlic
* 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
* 2 teaspoons of salt, I used French sea salt
* a pinch of black pepper
* 2 tablespoons of olive oil
* 5 cups/1250 ml of water
needed: a cooking pan, a blender or stick blender
1. Peel the asparagus with a potato peeler and cut them into small chunks. You might want to take off the hard bottoms of the asparagus. Either throw them away or use them in juices when you have a juicer.
2. Peel the potato, onion an cloves of garlic and cut hem into small pieces.
3. Heat the olive oil in the cooking pan over medium heat.
4. Put the chunks of potato, onion and garlic in the heated oil and stir fry for a few minutes until the onion gets softer.
5. Add the chunks of asparagus and stir fry for another few minutes.
6. Then add the water and the rosemary and cook for about 20 minutes or until the veggies in the pan are soft.
7. Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper and blend the soup with a stick blender, or let it cool off a bit and then blend in a regular blender.
8. Serve the soup with some bread or my Potato Thyme Scones.