If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to start thinking about a menu change for spring. People lighten up their diets in the spring to slough off the heavy winter foods and prepare their bodies for the warmer and more active months. So, get rid of that cottage pie and chicken pot pie until next Fall, and put a springtime focus in your menu.
Asparagus is a go to on the hot bar for spring. Easy to prepare and popular with the community, it is truly the harbinger of spring. If you have a local grower in your area, start a conversation with them about what they do with their “seconds”. Many asparagus farmers have great quantities of asparagus that they cannot sell to top tier produce departments and thats where the deli can really come in and make a profit and help a local farmer.
These seconds are just fine for roasting whole for the hot bar, and if you get some that are too bloomed, then make a soup, or cut them up into a stir fry or fried rice.
Here is great asparagus soup recipe. Spring is comin’ Bring it on!
- 10 lbs organic asparagus
- 6 qts chicken stock
- 3/4 cup organic butter
- 3 cups finely diced organic onion
- 3 cups finely diced organic leeks (white parts only)
- 1/3 cup minced organic garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp organic black pepper
- 1/2 cup organic heavy cream
- Cut the asparagus tips, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length, set aside.
- Cut or break off the woody ends from each spear and set aside.
- Cut the remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces, set aside.
- In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the tough woody stems, lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, 20 to 30 minutes. Then, remove asparagus with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving the stock.
- Add the asparagus tips to the stock and blanch until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with a strainer and refresh in an ice water bath. Drain and put in a hotel pan, set aside.
- In another medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the onion and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped asparagus stalks, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
- Add the reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- With a hand-immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Add cream and asparagus tips.
- When reheating this soup, be careful to keep the temperature low to avoid boiling. Boiling the soup upon reheat will cause it to separate.