I love enjoying the bounty of fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits New England has to offer. One of the best is fresh-from-the-garden asparagus! You'll never return to store-bought once you've tasted this delicacy. The fresh stuff melts in your mouth - none of the stringiness or sharp flavors of imported asparagus.
Thankfully, asparagus is also pretty easy to grow if you give it a good start. It is a long-lived perennial, so once you have your plot established, you'll be picking for years to come. Read more about planting and growing asparagus here.
If you are overrun with asparagus (as you might be once your patch gets established!), try this recipe for asparagus soup. Though it sounds old-fashioned, it is simple and super fresh.
Asparagus Soup with Bacon
- 1 large bunch of asparagus, woody stems trimmed
- 2-3 shallots, chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp rendered bacon grease
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pkg bacon
- 1 qt chicken or vegetable stock
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Arrange the bacon on a baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until extra crispy, flipping once in the middle of baking.
- Remove from baking sheet, and let cool on a baking rack or paper towels.
- Drain most of bacon grease into another container.
- Lay asparagus on baking sheet, rolling it in the grease until covered. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until tender.
- Saute shallots in bacon grease.
- Add asparagus, shallots, and remaining ingredients, except for bacon, to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Break cooled bacon into bits, and use as garnish.