New Orleans is a soup-loving city. We ladle it up year-round regardless of how oppressively hot and humid some days (most days) get. Soup is an important part of our “bowl cuisine” or “bowl culture,” which also includes gumbo, etouffee, stew, beans, and even jambalaya. Whether we’re flaunting a specific ingredient, looking to stretch the food we have on hand or needing to feed plenty of people, we turn to our bowl cuisine. It’s familiar and soul-satisfying.
I was in need of some “bowl love” this week with all the out-of-control house renovations I’m dealing with. Fortunately, I had two large bunches of fresh asparagus in the fridge. They were almost past their prime. But I was able to salvage them and what was left of my sanity and patience with this Roasted Asparagus Soup. It’s full of clean and fresh spring flavors. And the power of the bowl? Pretty amazing!
Roasted Asparagus Soup Recipe
2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds)
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and slice into 1-inch pieces. Place asparagus and potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season generously with salt and black pepper. Roast until soft, 40-45 minutes. When vegetables are almost done roasting, heat reserved 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic; cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add chicken stock or broth and roasted vegetables; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat and puree until smooth using an immersion or regular blender (if using a regular blender, process soup in small batches to prevent a heat explosion); return soup to low heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve. Makes 6-8 servings.