Saturday, June 4, 2011

Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Onion Soup

My first entry.  It seems fitting to include a recipe that has both a 'green' and 'thyme' component.  It is after all, the name of my blog.  'Green' for the healthy dishes I plan to share and 'thyme' because it is the first herb I learned to cook with.  Years ago, I made a large pan of roasted vegetables with thyme and have been hooked on it ever since.  It made me realize just how important herbs can be in pulling a dish together.  This recipe incorporates some of those flavors I first fell in love with.

Vegetable soups have always been a favorite of mine, whether chunky and rustic or smooth and pureed, I can't seem to get enough.  They typically make for quick cooking time and it's a great way to use up what's in your refrigerator or freezer.  As winter gives way to spring, my soup ingredients change from heartier root vegetables to fresh green vegetables.

Two things make this soup work well.  First, roasting the asparagus and vidalia onion bring out the natural sweetness in these ingredients, layering the soup with flavor.  Second, using a potato to thicken the soup is a healthier alternative to finishing with cream or milk.  Blended together and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and shredded Parmesan, it's just the thing to kick off the spring season.

If I know I'm going to make this soup, I'll often roast the vegetables ahead of time, usually the day before or night before.  That way, my ingredients are ready to go and the soup comes together in no time, making a quick and easy lunch. 

~Roasted Asparagus and 
Sweet Onion Soup Recipe~
(Adapted from Robin Miller)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch of asparagus (approximately 3 cups)
1/2 large vidalia onion cut into wedges (3/4 cup)
1 small potato peeled and chopped small (1 cup)
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the tough ends of the asparagus.  Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Using your hands, toss the asparagus, coating each spear. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on your sheet pan.  Cut the vidalia onion half into wedges, also tossing and coating with 1 tbsp of olive oil on sheet pan.  Roast the asparagus and onions for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.  The asparagus should be tender and the onions, slightly browned.  Adjust the roasting time if your asparagus spears are on the larger size.  They may need a bit more time.  Once cooled, cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. 

Heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a pot.  Add in the garlic, cooking 2 minutes, until fragrant.  Add in the cubed potato, stirring and coating with the garlic and olive oil, taking care not to let the potato stick.  Add in the thyme, asparagus, onions, and vegetable broth.  Bring the heat up just to a boil.  Place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Continue to let the soup cook for 10 minutes more, making sure the potatoes are cooked through.  Using an immersion blender, or a traditional blender working in batches, puree the soup until it is smooth.  Season with sea salt and pepper to your liking.  Serve up with a drizzle of olive oil and shredded Parmesan.  Serves 4.


Anonymous said...

I love the soup, rich and creamy but not too thick. Just the way I like it

Cris said...

Steph, the soup is absolutely amazing and SO figure friendly! A creamy soup without the cream - music to my ears. I used chicken stock and added some cooked cubed pork at the end, to serve as a main dinner entree - superb. You're amazing. More recipes, please!