MORE GREEN – WHAT TO DO WITH ASPARAGUS STEMS
Almost everyone loves Asparagus – at least I think so! But the tip and upper half of the stalk is the most tender and flavorful parts, so we tend to cut off the bottoms. What a shame if those bottoms are thrown out. There is still flavor and nutrition in the lower half of the Asparagus even though it may be a little tougher on the bottom. There are things you can do with those tough bottoms that will render them palatable and quite delicious! Here Goes!!!
- Cut off 1 inch from the bottoms of each stem (stalk)
- Wash the remaining stems and then cut into 1inch pieces.
- Place in a saucepan or pot that will allow you to cover the pieces with at least 2 inches of liquid.
- Add a chopped Onion or Shallots.
- Add Chicken Stock, Vegetable Bouillon or Water to cover. (In the photo below, there are Carrots and Green Onions along with the Asparagus. The Chicken Stock is frozen and will defrost as the heat melts it. – you can add whatever other Vegetables you may have on hand)
- Bring to a boil and then simmer until the pieces are fork tender.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place the Asparagus pieces along with some of the liquid into your food processor or blender and run until smooth. This may also be done with an immersion blender.
- For a perfectly smooth puree pass the mixture through a strainer; for a little texture leave as is.
The resulting puree above may be used for Soup, Pasta or Pasta Sauce. To make Cream of Asparagus Soup follow the instructions below.
2 cups Vegetable Puree 1 cup Heavy Cream or Milk
3 Shallots or 1 small Onion, chopped
4 oz. Mushrooms (optional)
¼ cup unsalted Butter
4 Tbsps. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground Pepper
- Melt 4 Tbsps. of Butter; add half cup of chopped Onion or Shallots and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the 4 Tbsps. Flour until it is well combined with the Butter and Onions.
- Add the Asparagus Puree and stir well. Add enough Cream or Milk to make the desired consistency.
- Add 1 tsp. Salt and 1/4 tsp. White Pepper; taste and adjust seasonings.
Yield: Approx. 4 Servings