March 26, 2012

Creamy Asparagus & Spinach Soup

Ok, it has been a while since I posted here. There have been a few hiccups in my life, but after much time, thought and resolve, I am back and ready to play in my kitchen and share with you what I love so very much. That being said, here is the first of many tastes that are dying to come out of my kitchen.

This is a fantastically simple soup - thrown together with just a few ingredients hanging out in my fridge and pantry, begging to be chopped up and pureed to a silky, creamy, dreamy finish.

This soup is so creamy and filling, yet not loaded with calories. The two surprise ingredients are yogurt and nutmeg, both giving this soup a different kind of kick.

I made some parmesan crisps to add a little salty crunchiness to the soup. I think that you will agree that the combination of the salty crisps and the richness of the velvety soup makes quite an enjoyable treat. The recipe for the crisps are posted here at the bottom. These are great in salads as well. If you have a wholefoods near you, you can find parmesan crisps in the cheese department. They are however super simple to make...give it a try and see.

Pairing Suggestion: The creaminess of this soup begs for a rich Chardonnay, preferably from America, as they tend to be fuller and oakier than those from Europe.

Creamy Asparagus & Spinach Soup
Serves 6-8 (1-2 cup servings)

1 onion chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds of asparagus, cut into 1 inch dice
1/2 cup flour
6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of milk (your preference of milk, I used 1% milk)
1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
8 cups of spinach
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
Parmesan Crisps (recipe to follow)

In soup pot, cook onion in olive oil for 3-5 minutes to soften. Add asparagus and cook 5 minutes until it begins to soften. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until hot and bubbly. Add chicken stock and milk and stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer and add half the spinach leaves. Once wilted, blend using a hand held blender (if using blender, blend in batches). Once blended and simmering, add yogurt and the rest of the spinach leaves and allow yogurt to melt and spinach to wilt. Grate nutmeg over soup and stir in. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Serve topped with a drizzle of cream and parmesan crisps.

Parmesan Crisps

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 4oo degrees.
Pour heaping tablespoon of parmesan onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and lightly pat down. A silicone baking sheet is highly recommended. Repeat with the remaining cheese spacing the spoonfuls about a 1/2 inch apart.
Bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden and crisp. Allow to cool.