Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cream of asparagus soup with crab: a recipe

cream of asparagus soup
I'll just say it was an Instagram photo, so it's supposed to look this crappy.
Wow. Let's try not to let today's craptacular pictures deter from you trying this soup. Promise? Please?

If I had better white-balanced and hadn't been in a rush to EAT IT, you would see what a lovely chartreuse color the soup is. Really, a perfect spring soup.

Regular readers already know about the CSA Share Ninja Rescue: this week's post included some ideas for asparagus, but I had to keep this one separate for its own post.

It's solo post-worthy. (Try saying that five times quickly.)

It was also a huge milestone in our house because Mr. Ninj hates asparagus. HATES. I mean, doesn't-even-like-to-be-in-the-same-room-with-it hate. (That's a lot of hate.)

Turns out, after all these years, we've realized it's a texture hate, not a taste hate. So when we were out to dinner recently at the Kitchen Table Bistro, I asked him to try the asparagus-ramp soup I had ordered ...

... and he liked it!

Needless to say, after being an asparagus-free household for so many years, I felt liberated. I immediately bought some fresh asparagus and made this soup.

And Mr. Ninj liked it!

Cripes, I couldn't even get decent white balance on the asparagus!

An asparagus soup, given the thumb-up by an asparagus hater: that's a serious seal of approval, don't you think?

Now aren't you curious to try it? Not yet? How about if I tell you that it's wicked easy, too?

I thought so.

My garden: nothing to do with this post, I just wanted to redeem myself, photography-wise.
I particularly love the natural twig fence (for the peas).

Cream of Asparagus Soup with Crab: (adapted from a recipe in Traditional Home)

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large shallots
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons white wine
2 cups half and half (I use the low-fat kind)
1/2 - 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
4 ounces lump crab (I used the refrigerated kind: probably not the best but hey, I live in Vermont -- not exactly crab country)

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the asparagus for about 1 minute. Remove from water and plunge into an ice-water bath. Set aside.

In a saucepan, cook the shallots and thyme in the butter over medium-low heat until soft (about 3-5 minutes). Add the wine and cook until it evaporates. Add the half and half to the pot and bring JUST to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the cooked asparagus. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, adding broth if necessary to bring it to your desired consistency (reheat a bit if necessary before serving). Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a few tablespoons of crab to each bowl when serving.


  1. That thing is serious! I would put it smack into the middle of my edibles garden so there would be some structure there instead of just a big odd space! Gosh, it's really beautiful.

    Garden Centre Battle

  2. Isn't it cool? I love that it is completely natural -- I just picked up and trimmed sticks and branches from our yard and stuck them in the ground, yet it looks very artsy. A friend of mine saw them being used at Sturbridge Village and gave me the idea. Also, at the end of the season, the whole thing can just be pulled up and thrown onto the compost heap.