Sunday, 13 May 2012

(Asparagus) tip of the week

Just quickly whilst that lovely photo of asparagus in Salon is up there. I'm reminded of some tasty ways to use every bit of asparagus whilst it's around..

In the UK, it's prime season but elsewhere the season is coming to an end. Either way, you shouldn't waste any of this beautiful vegetable- even if the ends are becoming a bit woody.

Asparagus is at its most delicious, simply steamed or boiled and served with butter, hollandaise, or mayonnaise (aioli). However, the steaming or cooking water is a gem in itself and do conserve it in a screw topped jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.

The asparagus tips will always make a lovely meal- accompanying meat or fish- or baked in a quiche (printanier style with spring onions).

As the season progresses, and the  stems become a little coarse- don't disregard them. Firstly, they yield a flavoursome stock and secondly, they can be made into a wonderful veloute or asparagus cream soup.

Cook your bundle of asparagus - steamed over boiling water or cooked in boiling water. Above all, keep this asparagus-scented water for your soup.

Cut off the tips to use as you wish. (So many ways to enjoy this delightful vegetable.)

Chop the leftover stalks and soften in olive oil with celery, onion and a handful of garden peas.

Add the leftover asparagus water and cook for 10 mins until all veg are soft.

Blitz the, soup - season and add a dash of milk.

A delicious asparagus soup from stuff that might otherwise be left on plates- all the more satisfying for that!

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