I made this soup last week with some leftover asparagus ends and it turned out amazing! It is very flavorful and light. It can also be enjoyed cold if preferred during the summer. I was excited to include kale picked fresh from my garden in this recipe! Try to use local, fresh and organic ingredients when possible to optimize nutrient density and support your local community!
Lemon Asparagus Soup
1 bunch asparagus (diced)
1 onion (chopped)
2-3 cloves garlic (pealed and smashed)
2 Tbsp butter (substitute extra virgin olive oil for dairy-free option)
5 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed, if possible)
1-2 kale leaves
pepper, freshly ground
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (grated)
Melt butter in large pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and let sauté until soft and translucent.
In the meantime, cut off the tips of the asparagus to use later as garnish. Chop the ends up into 1/2 inch pieces.
Once onions are soft, add chopped asparagus, broth, salt and pepper to pot. Let soup come to a boil, then turn down heat to let simmer and cover with a lid.
Cook vegetables until tender, about ~20 minutes.
**Once fully cooked, blend ingredients together until completely smooth.
Transfer soup back to pot. Add lemon juice and chopped kale and gently stir in. If you desire a thicker consistency, allow soup to simmer, uncovered, until desired consistency is reached.
Sauté asparagus tips in pan with some butter until tender.
Top soup with asparagus tips and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Enjoy!
**If using a regular blender (as oppose to an immersion blender) let soup cool for 5-10 minutes before blending, as blending hot ingredients can increase the internal pressure in the vessel, causing it to explode (yes, I am speaking from experience).
It’s October and you’re picking apples and drinking hot apple cider, or August and you just visited your local blueberry patch. Many of us eat seasonally without even realizing its fantastic benefits! Seasonal eating is something that our ancestors did naturally but now can take a bit of effort due to the convenience of being able to buy almost any food year round at your local grocer.
Listed are some reasons why eating seasonally could not only benefit you, but also your community.
More nutritious. Nutrient degradation starts immediately as produce is harvested! The farther the produce has to travel to reach its destination and the longer it sits on supermarket shelves, the more its nutrients become depleted. Much of the produce is harvested before ripe and then exposed to gas to ripen it after transport. Picking produce before it has fully matured results in a lower nutrient density. According to biochemical researcher Donald R. Davis, the average fruit and vegetable sold in our supermarkets contain 5 to 40% less minerals than those 50 years ago. In fact, vegetables can lose 15 to 55% of vitamin C within a week. No wonder over 52% of Americans are deficient in magnesium, and 43% do not get enough vitamin A!
You Save Moolah! The cost-savings of buying food from your local farmers market boils down to a matter of supply and demand. When you buy in-season produce, you are buying food at the height of its supply. When there is more available, prices go down. This may seem like common sense, but many don’t take advantage of this or plan their meals around what’s in season. Although eating healthy can be expensive, it doesn’t HAVE to be. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
It supports your community. Buying straight from the farmer, whether it be via farmers market or CSA, cuts out the middle man so the farmer makes more money. City Fresh, a Cleveland Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), reports “We are consistently 20-40% cheaper than the grocery store, and unlike the typical grocery store, where only 5 to 15 cents of your dollar goes to the farmer who grew your produce, 81 cents of your City Fresh dollar goes directly to our farmers.”
Increased nutrient variety. An added bonus of eating in season is a more nutritionally varied diet. Ever heard the phrase, eat the rainbow? Not only do different plant foods grow best in different seasons, but different colored foods contain different types of micronutrients. For example, the purple/blue hue of plants such as plums, blueberries and eggplant is primarily due to its anthocyanin content. This antioxidant is particularly beneficial for preventing blood clots and cancer. When you eat seasonally, you are exposed to a wider profile of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants at the peak of their nutrient density.
So whats in season?!
This user friendly Seasonal Food Guide makes finding what’s in season easy based on your location! Below, I have also provided a seasonal food guide for my Ohio followers.
Interested in finding a local farmer’s market or CSA in your area? LocalHarvest.org is one of my go-to resources for this!