Warning: Seasonal eater nerd alert! If you're like me, this is the time of year you like most, like we're talking like, like! We're on the cusp of some serious good eats coming our way, fresh, each week. It's outdoor, get your butt to it, Farmer's Market time and I'm pumped! Can I get a little dorky air high five from you all? ;) I have a tendency to want to buy EVERYTHING that I see at the Farmer's Market; those little honey sticks; the homemade soaps; the yarn (I don't even knit); the olive oils; the ramps! Ramps! I could go on. (Slap me anytime. I'm a total FM nerd.)
So, to honor and appreciate this cusp we're on, I'm gonna go ahead and highlighting a Farmer's Market find that I love so you can stock up on what's in season and eat the best darn tasting food this side of 2016.
This month our star of the show is.... asparagus! Applause. You'll find it all over your markets; some big, some small, some juuuuust right. The benefits are numerous: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, is a significant source of inulin (which is a type of carbohydrate that helps with digestion and is referred to as a prebiotic. Pre- not Pro-, which basically means they're food for probiotics, and food for them is good for all!) It's also an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, copper, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and vitamin E. This is definitely a veg you want to become familiar with until the end of July (if you're in the Northeast as am I. Then it's sionara until next year my seasonally eating friend.)
One perfect (and easy) option for cooking asparagus, if you're new to it, is to simply roast them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. You can not go wrong! But what I wanted to do was to try something new.
Now I'm not a big soup eater, but I do think it's a really great way to get in a ton of nutrients and flavors all in one place. And if you find yourself with some gluten free crackers that can provide a little love crunch to the soup, dive in! Here's my take on a little asparagus soup that I really, really enjoyed! (I know it's getting nice out but there are those slightly chilly evenings still, and a bowl of soup is a perfect dinnertime meal!) Enjoy and let me know how it goes in the comments section. Come on, don't be shy, I'm nice and only want you to like me (says my inner child.)
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, or ghee
1 leek, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus
2 garlic cloves
4 cups chicken broth (or veg)
1 potato, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste'
1 dollop of Greek yogurt (optional)
1 tsp sriracha (or hot pepper flakes) optional
In a medium pot over medium-low heat, add in olive oil (or ghee). Add in leeks and let cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add in broth and diced potato and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add in the asparagus and let simmer until the potato and asparagus are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Carefully transfer soup to a blender in small batches and puree until smooth. Return soup to the pot and bring to boil. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with the yogurt and sriracha if you like a little heat!