Roasted Asparagus and Fennel Soup

roasted asparagus fennel soup

Despite intending to create a certain recipe, sometimes my ingredients tell me how to cook them.  Let me explain.  Imagine you go to the market with a particular dish in mind, such as a blueberry pie. But when you see the blueberries, they are perfect and sweet, and just too lovely to cook.  To boil them and drench them in sugar would be a violation of their pristine nature. So you decide to eat them as snack, or serve them simply in a salad or over yogurt.

This weekend, I was planning to make miniature vegan asparagus soufflés. I had the recipe set in my mind, and imagined puffy golden soufflés peeking out of their ramekins bedecked with delicate asparagus tips.  But when I saw the clublike asparagus spears available at the market, I knew their girth was all wrong for such a dish.  I shifted my focus to soup.

Searching for an ingredient to minimize the woodiness of the giant asparagus, I arrived at fennel, and decided to roast all the vegetables together, adding a sweet, caramelized flavor to the soup. Fennel is something I’m trying to use more often, either raw and thinly sliced in salads, or roasted alongside other vegetables.  I loved how it complimented the asparagus and brightened the flavor of this uncomplicated soup.

This asparagus and fennel soup recipe represents a time of transition.  Fennel, in season from autumn to early spring, is a nod to the tail end of winter.   The quintessential spring vegetable asparagus reminds us of rebirth and renewal.

[Note: I used my trusty Vitamix to blend all the ingredients at the end, but you can use a hand mixer or immersion blender, if you like.]

Roasted Asparagus and Fennel Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches asparagus, chopped in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 4 c vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • chopped fennel fronds for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan, combine asparagus, fennel, onion and olive oil. Sprinkle a healthy amount of salt. Roast about 1 hour or until vegetables are browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. In a blender, combine roasted vegetables, broth, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Blend until silky smooth. Reheat in a saucepan before serving. Garnish with fennel fronds.

 

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