I grew up on a lot of canned vegetables. My family often struggled to make ends meet and eat a veggie-heavy diet living on an island in southeastern Alaska, and canned vegetables were a way to bridge both of those gaps. My mom always did her very best to feed us well, even when we were short on funds. (She also chopped firewood, which we used exclusively to keep us warm 9 months out of the year. She’s a remarkable and resourceful lady.)
As a special treat when I was young, my mom bought canned asparagus for me. I loved it so much. I would walk wistfully down the canned veggie aisle, gazing longingly at the Jolly Green Giant lording over those delicious green spears. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that asparagus wasn’t grown in a can, and could be prepared fresh. I almost went broke buying it. Anytime I went out to eat, I ordered the asparagus. If a dish had asparagus listed as an ingredient, I was sold. On a shoestring budget during most of my 20’s, I would still manage to find money for a bunch.
What I didn’t know then is how great asparagus is for health. It’s full of Vitamins A, B12, C, D, K and loaded with inulin, which is important for folks who suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions. It is also a natural diuretic and helps prevent kidney stones. The benefits go on and on, but needless to say, this is a really tasty vegetable that packs a powerful nutrient punch. And yes, it makes your pee smell but that’s okay. Not every vegetable can be smart, sexy, nice, funny AND smell good.
A few weeks ago, I found asparagus on sale for less than $1 a pound. Of course I bought way too much. I bought enough to eat it twice a day for a week, which I’m pretty certain is the definition of “way too much”. So, I got a little creative. I oven-roasted it, pan-seared it, steamed it, added it to a salad. And then I souped it. Yep, “souped” is a word. And I did it. And it changed my life.
- 2 lbs of fresh asparagus, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces (be sure to snap off the tough, woody ends first)
- 1/2 small sweet onion, chopped finely
- 1 small clove minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups organic low-sodium chicken broth
- 1-2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids
- 4 oz of cream cheese (or roasted cauliflower puree for a creamy paleo-friendly base)
- 4 oz lump crabmeat
- (optional) salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan or small stockpot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft
- Add asparagus and chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add cumin, red pepper flakes, Braggs, coriander, and celery salt
- Once asparagus is tender (but still bright green), transfer mixture to a blender, one cup at a time
- Blend each batch with 1-2 ounces of cream cheese (or the roasted cauliflower).
- Once blended, return to pot and heat over medium-low and add lump crabmeat. Continue to heat until warm enough to serve. Be sure to taste it and add salt and pepper and any additional seasoning you might like at this time.
- Garnish with asparagus, lump crab meat, or Parmesan cheese.