I have been trying to introduce more fresh vegetables into my weekly meals. I usually try to serve a side of broccoli or salad, but that often gets boring and sometimes doesn’t even get eaten if there is a tastier main entree, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one! Kramer is very picky about the vegetables I serve as well, so that just adds to my vegetable challenge. He does, however, like creamy soups. I knew that I could pack tons of healthy asparagus and spinach into a tasty soup that he would actually eat, and my plan worked! He really enjoyed this soup. It was light and very flavorful, but at the same time, it was very filling. The queso blanco that I topped it off with added some extra texture and richness, but you can use any cheese, such as gruyere or even cheddar!
Asparagus is one of the best vegetables available. It has almost no calories, has no cholesterol, and is a great source of calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Asparagus is packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, and contains iron, folic acid, and potassium. Six ounces of the vegetable provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance for folacin, which helps with blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. You’ll definitely get at least that much asparagus in each bowl of this soup! The stalks of asparagus are also high in antioxidants, which can help to prevent cancer and heart disease. I love asparagus because it’s versatile and goes well as a side with almost anything. I serve it with everything from roasted chicken to Chinese food! It’s delicious simply roasted or sauteed with some olive oil and garlic, but this soup really blows all other preparations for asparagus right out of the water! One spoonful of this velvety soup and you’ll fall in love with this incredible vegetable.
Your ingredients. You can really use any extra vegetables that you’ve got around, like potatoes or carrots.
Line a baking tray with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Brush the onion, asparagus, and garlic with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and roast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, remove the the garlic cloves and set aside to cool so they can be peeled, and continue to roast the asparagus and onion for another 25 minutes.
When everything has been roasted and is tender, process in your food processor or blender in batches with the broth and spinach. I did four batches, with 1-2 cups of vegetable broth with about a quarter of the vegetables until everything had been blended.
Pour the processed soup into a pot, and turn the heat to medium. Add in the white wine, thyme, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. When the soup is simmering, add in the half and half and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Top with some queso blanco or another mild cheese and some chopped spinach for garnish and enjoy!
- 1 large bunch of asparagus (about 1.5-2 pounds), cleaned
- 1 yellow or white onion, quartered
- 6-7 regular sized cloves of garlic, separated from the bulb but not peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 big handful of spinach (about 1½ cups)
- 4½ cups vegetable broth
- ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons white wine
- ¾ cup heavy cream (I only had half and half, so I used that)
- half a lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- queso blanco (or a cheese of your choice), for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Clean the asparagus by cutting off the ends and washing with water. Line a baking tray with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the cleaned asparagus, quartered onion, and garlic on the tray and brush with the combined olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Place the baking tray in the oven and roast the vegetables for 25 minutes, until the garlic is golden. Remove the garlic and continue to roast the asparagus and onion for another 25 minutes.
- When the vegetables are roasted, check to make sure the garlic cloves have cooled and peel them. Blend the asparagus, onion, garlic, and spinach in a food processor or blender. I recommend chopping the asparagus into smaller pieces, about 3 inches long. You can keep the asparagus heads on or you can discard them; I used about half of the heads and tossed the rest. I also recommend processing this soup in batches, especially if you have a smaller food processor. If you have an immersion blender, well, aren't you lucky! I did about 1 cup of broth with about a quarter of the vegetables, poured that into my pot, and then continued processing until everything has been blended well.
- Pour the processed soup into a pot and turn the heat to medium. Add in the white wine, thyme, and about ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine, then turn the heat up just a bit and add in the half and half and just a squeeze of half of the lemon. Stir to combine, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Top with some chopped spinach (optional) and grated cheese. Serves 3-4.