Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup

This didn't start out to be vegan.  I put on a few pounds after Passover and wanted something light, with a decent amount of fiber, and a reasonable amount of protein.  Once I chose tofu over yogurt, it ended up vegan.

I accidentally bought regular broth instead of low-salt.  You may want to add salt to your recipe if you get a low-salt option.  I always recommend that anyway.  It is much easier to add salt than to add potatoes, lemon juice, or sugar to counteract it.  At least I had planned to put a potato in this anyway, as part of the "creaminess".

And this only counts as budget-friendly if you are currently in asparagus season.  I got mine for $1.99/lb, which is about the lowest price you're likely to see in late April.  Broth isn't cheap, but this was on sale.  Together, the pot of soup cost about $6, and I used it as my main course.

1 Tb olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 C)
*2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large red potato (about 1/2 lb)
1 lb green asparagus
2 C vegetable broth
1 package silken or soft tofu
1 Tb lemon juice
salt and white pepper to taste

1.  In olive oil in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.

2.  Peel potato and dice.  Cut tips off asparagus and reserve.  Cut green parts of stalks into 1" pieces, discarding the tough bottoms.  Add potato, asparagus, and vegetable broth to saucepan and stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 1/2 hour.

3.  In a small saucepan, bring asparagus tips to a boil.  Turn off heat immediately and let sit for 3 minutes.  Drain water and set blanched tips aside for garnish.

4.  Drain tofu.  In a blender, in batches, purée soup and tofu.  Return to saucepan through a sieve to remove any tough fibers and reheat to serving temperature.  Stir in lemon juice.  Taste and add salt and white pepper as needed.  Serve topped with several asparagus tips.

5.  To serve as a chilled soup:  do not season with salt and pepper.  Chill in refrigerator at least two hours, until thoroughly cold.  Taste, then season.  Serve in chilled bowls, topped with cooled asparagus tips.

Difficulty rating  :)

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