A very popular soup in Sweden is Asparagus Soup “Sparrissoppa” I have no idea why it is not very popular in the US but you don’t see it very often. I recently made it for a dinner party where I served 3 different soups and the Asparagus Soup was the favorite soup of the night. And yes, I only had women over for dinner, I don’t know why but men usually like a little more than soup for dinner.
Asparagus season is usually around April but Whole Foods had some really nice looking ones so I had to get them. Also I didn’t want just asparagus so I decided to put some bacon in it.
Officially known as asparagus officinalis, asparagus is a member of the lily family. It’s native to East Central Europe, yet grows wild in many parts of the world today.
Asparagus was actually a medicine long before it was considered a food. Galen, a Greek Physician, described it as “heating and cleansing. It relieves inflammation of the stomach, relaxes the bowels, makes urine, and helps the weak. It removes obstruction of the liver and kidneys.” A variety of medicinal concoctions were produced from the sprouts, stems, roots and seeds of asparagus. Although today few hold to any real medicinal value associated with asparagus, it is nevertheless rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
Asparagus Soup with Bacon
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Yields: 4-6 people
¾ lbs of asparagus (about 1 bunch from the store or little less than 2 cups)
1 tsp butter
8 oz Bacon
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
1 tsp Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste
Start with cleaning the asparagus and then cut into ½ inch pieces. (Save a few pieces for presentation). Put the asparagus into a pot of water with 1 tsp salt and let boil for 2 minutes. Then remove the asparagus and set aside and dispose of the water.
Cut the bacon in ½ pieces and put into a frying pan. Let the bacon cook until the desired crispy state. I usually like mine just slightly browned not very crispy.
On the side finely chop the 3 shallots and put that in a deep bottomed pot with 1 tsp of butter and sauté the shallots for 2-3 minutes. Then add the chicken stockand let it boil. Then add the cream and the cooked asparagus. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. After that puree the soup in a mixer to the desired state and put it back into the pot.
Add the bacon, salt and pepper to taste.
Another alternative could be to add fried mushrooms to the soup.
Serve soup and add a few asparagus piece for presentation.