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Local Asparagus & Spring Onion Soup

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Local Asparagus & Spring Onion Soup

Published

Often referred to as “Asparagus Capital of the World”, our neighboring town of Hadley has earned its nickname after decades of homing New England’s most productive asparagus farmlands, thanks to the abundant rich soil. This asparagus, commonly referred to by locals as “Hadley grass”, is quite literally fit for royalty, having been featured for many years at Queen Elizabeth II’s Annual Spring Feast menu. The annual WGBY Asparagus Festival hosted during the month of June, is one of the most anticipated events by attendees from all over the world. This event celebrates some of the most important characteristics of the Pioneer Valley region: community and agriculture.

Local Asparagus & Spring Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½  teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable
  • 1 pound local asparagus, chopped
  • 3 cups young leafy greens a mix of kale and spinach)
  • 4 – 5 chives, minced
  • 2 small pieces parmesan cheese rind
  • 3 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Move rack to top of oven and set broiler to high. Shave just the roots from onions, leaving the core intact so that onion layers stay in place. Halve or quarter any larger onions. Arrange on a broiler pan and slide into the oven. Broil until edges begin to char and onions are tender but still have some bite, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, set a Dutch oven or small stockpot over medium heat. Add olive oil, and when hot, add potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and a few twists of pepper. Sauté potatoes and asparagus until tender about 7 – 10 minutes. Add white wine, stir for 1 minute, and then add broth. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low. Taste and add sea salt as needed.
  3. Working carefully in batches, blend charred onions, broth and potato-asparagus mixture, and greens until smooth. (I like this soup with some texture, so I blend until the texture is smooth but still flecked with bits of char.)
  4. Pour back into the soup pot and warm over medium-low heat just until the mixture starts to steam. Heating soup gently is the best way to maintain its emerald green hue.
  5. Heat Parmesan rinds and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until bubbles form around the edge. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by half, about 45 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cream, chives, and several twists white pepper.