I wait all year for spring in New England. After what always feels like such a prolonged and harsh winter, the longer days and rising temps are such a welcomed sigh of relief. Like most years; however, I’ve been caught off guard by the erratic weather and the hard transition from winter to spring (especially in Boston). Over the weekend it was over 80 degrees and I was a little over-zealous and switched out my closet because yesterday it was back down to 40 degrees. I always think that at some point I’ll get used to the extreme weather changes but alas it hasn’t happened yet.
While the weather is erratic, I have transitioned into incorporating more spring foods into my diet. Spring is the perfect time to allow your body to naturally detox physically and emotionally from the winter. Inspired by Minimalist Baker, I modified this detoxifying asparagus soup as a soothing way to ease into the new season.
If you’ve been seeing asparagus everywhere lately, it’s by no accident. Not only is it every foodie’s favorite spring vegetable to photograph, but there are additional health benefits that come through eating seasonally.
Asparagus contains antioxidants and the naturally occurring inulin (a prebiotoc) promotes the “good gut” bacteria and aids with the digestion process. It is very fitting that the harvest time for asparagus comes so soon after we’ve been hibernating all winter.
I like to add a little micro-greens or sprouts on top for garnish and a little sweet flavor.
Savor and enjoy!
- Olive oil spray
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 large bundle asparagus, trimmed
- 2 large leeks, thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups firmly packed baby spinach
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Sprouts, micro greens and asparagus for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spread asparagus onto bare baking sheet.
- Lightly season asparagus with Chosen Foods Olive Oil Spray(or similar), salt and pepper. Gently toss to coat thoroughly.
- Roast for 15 minutes, then set aside.
- Heat a large saucepan on medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp oil and shallot, garlic and leeks. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and translucent. Reduce heat if garlic begins browning.
- Add peas, vegetable broth and almond milk and season with salt and pepper once more. Cover and simmer on low-to-medium heat for 15 minutes until the peas are vibrant and bright green in color.
- Add spinach until it begins to wilt and remove from heat.
- Transfer soup to blender along with asparagus (reserve some for garnish if desired). Blend soup until creamy and smooth.
- Transfer back to pot and bring to medium heat and simmer, whisk and reduce heat to low.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Garnish with asparagus, micro greens and sprouts.
Patrick Sporleder Photography