A recipe from my cooking school days. Still easy, still delicious.
- 3 lbs. fresh asparagus
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup Pesach margarine
- 2 medium red onions, chopped
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, coarsely minced
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tablespoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 large tomato, seeded, juiced and finely diced, for garnish
- Cut off and reserve the asparagus tips. Remove the woody ends and cut stalks into 1-inch pieces.
- In a large pot over medium heat. melt the margarine in the olive oil. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus stalks, carrots, parsley, tarragon, salt, black pepper and cayenne to the broth. Reduce to a simmer, partially covered, and continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat and let cool.
- Using a blender or food processor, puree the broth and vegetables in batches of 2-3 cups.
If you like a thinner soup, strain some of the soup before returning it to the pan.
At this point, you can store the soup, covered, in the refrigerator for a few days and the soup can be finished just before serving.
- Before serving, heat the soup over medium heat. When bubbling, add the asparagus tips, and simmer until the tips are tender and the soup is hot, about 10 minutes.
- When you serve the soup, sprinkle some of the diced tomato on top.
DESCRIPTION: Asparagus contains beetles and thrips. Thrips are primarily found under the triangle scales and somewhat less frequently in the tips of the asparagus.
- Shave down the floret at the asparagus tip.
- Remove the triangle parts along the side of the asparagus. (A potato peeler is recommended.)
- Wash thoroughly.
When prepared in this manner, special inspection is not necessary.
This hard to find and very expensive cousin to green asparagus has neither open florets nor scales for the insects to occupy. Hence, it may be used without any special preparation. However, it should be washed thoroughly before using.
DESCRIPTION: Fresh Chives, basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme are often used as spices or garnishing.
Please Note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
INFESTATION: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water.
Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure.
RECOMMENDATION: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used.
- Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated unscented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.)
- Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs.
- Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs.
- Check both sides of each leaf under direct light.
- If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs.
- If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.
Please note: To prepare herbs such as cilantro, dill, or parsley for use in soups, wash them thoroughly and place in a cooking bag.