Asparagus has the spring-like taste that we start to crave this time of year: its lovely color and fresh appeal are just what we need to get past the late winter blahs.
This soup is an especially tasty offering: cauliflower adds its cancer-fighting nutrition, and there is plenty of healthful garlic to ward off colds and flu. Springtime flavor and creaminess without dairy, right here:
6 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon dill seeds
Sea salt to taste
2 cups bites-sized cauliflower florets
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
4 cups asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1. In a teakettle or small pot, bring water to a boil.
2. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, dill seeds, and salt and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until onions begin to soften and ingredients are fragrant.
3. Add cauliflower and celery and continue to saute 5 minutes more, until celery is bright green and cauliflower has begun to soften.
4. Add boiling water to pot along with asparagus, basil, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer soup 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Remove and discard bay leaf.
5. Puree soup in batches in blender or with a hand-held immersion blender, until smooth.
6. Return to pot and heat through. Serve piping hot.
Serves 4 to 6.
Inspired by Going Wild in the Kitchen, by Leslie Cerier (Square One Publishers, 2005).