For the past couple of days I have been desperately looking for signs of spring. Even though our winter here in the Rogue Valley has been relatively mild, I am ready for change. As I look around my yard, I see that the lilacs have started to form buds, the willow tree is starting to change from brown to a light shade of green and my little crocuses started to flower. My koi fish who lay dormant for months are starting to surface and are swimming to the sides of the pond. Spring is near…
Spring brings wonderful vegetables such as asparagus, colorful chard, bright green spinach and tender lettuce. I especially love asparagus. Unfortunately, my husband hates asparagus. The poor man, I sometimes think that he suffers needlessly. When Bruce married me he neglected to read the fine print that said “Tessa really doesn’t care what Bruce thinks about asparagus, she is going to cook it anyway”. Luckily for my son, I taught him at an early age to always read the fine print :).
When selecting asparagus, always look for firm tightly closed tips. If it does not look or feel fresh, it’s not. Don’t bother buying it.
My Roasted Asparagus and Cippolini Onion Bisque is one fabulous way to serve asparagus when it is fresh and in season. I oven roast the asparagus and cippolini onions and then blend it in a light chicken stock with potato and tarragon. Cippolini onions are a variety of Italian onions that I recently found at my local food co-op. They are mild in flavor and good for roasting. If you can’t find cippolini onions, use half an onion. My Roasted Asparagus and Cippolini Onion Soup is a delightful first course or an easy lunch served alongside your favorite sandwich or salad. Enjoy! Tessa
- 3/4 pound asparagus spears (washed and woody part of stem removed)
- 2 cippolini onions (peeled and quartered)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 white potato (peeled and diced)
- 1/4 tsp dried tarragon leaves
- pinch of white pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a small baking sheet toss the asparagus and cippolini onion in the olive oil and salt. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until tender. Meanwhile in a medium sized sauce pan add your chicken stock, potato and spices. Cook on medium heat until potato is tender. Add your asparagus and cippolini onions to the pot. Take a hand blender and blend until smooth. Taste and correct your seasonings. Dish up and serve. Makes about 6 servings.