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by Christina Wilson

Asparagus is an excellent source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. This herbaceous plant is a vibrant source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens. It's one of the top-ranked fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This  vegetable naturally contains the prebiotic inulin, which can improve your digestive health and help your body maintain optimum levels of glucose and insulin. Inulin is a soluble fiber, which feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.

You will find the best asparagus during spring as the peak months are April through May. The most common type of asparagus is green, but you might see two others in supermarkets and restaurants: white, which is more delicate and difficult to harvest, and purple, which is smaller and fruitier in flavor. No matter the type you choose, asparagus is a tasty, versatile vegetable that can be cooked in a countless number of ways.

Spring Asparagus Soup

Dairy Free

Serves 3, Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

1 lb green asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
*Reserve tough ends for broth

1 large sprig of fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1 large bunch of scallions, green part set aside, reserve white part chopped (about 2 cups)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup of peeled and sliced potato

1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, use more if it needs brightening

1/2 cup coconut milk  (to stir in at the end)

Directions

For the Broth

  1. In a large pot with 5 cups of water add asparagus ends, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and scallion greens only.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp. of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Strain it, pressing the solids to utilize all the flavors. Discard the solids. Set broth to the side.

For the Soup

  1. Snap off the tips of the asparagus where they break normally. Reserve the tips while you  break the remaining “middles” into pieces roughly about an inch or two in length.
  2. Over medium heat add olive oil in a large soup pot adding  the remaining white part of the scallions, asparagus middles, potato slices and tarragon at the same time. Cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Pour the cooled reserved stock through a strainer right into the pot of asparagus and potato mixture and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  4. Using a stick blender puree the finished soup until smooth.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, lemon and add asparagus tips and coconut milk simmering 5 minutes more. Delay doing this unless you are going to serve immediately.
    The pretty bright green color fades when it sits too long.

 

P.S. Ever felt alarmed about the way your pee smells after eating asparagus?  Don't be, it happens to many of us. The reason is because of a compound known as asparagusic acid, which is found exclusively in asparagus.  Asparagusic acid itself doesn’t smell, but as your body metabolizes it you get smaller molecules with sulfur in them. Those can actually vaporize, and that’s what you smell.  If you can’t smell the odor caused by asparagus metabolites, you have the genetic condition referred to as asparagus anosmia.




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Christina Wilson
Christina Wilson

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