This spring was my first real asparagus harvest. Last season, the bed, then just one year old, was an exercise in restraint; there was just a handful of asparagus large enough to be picked. With asparagus, immediate gratification is a bad thing: If you over indulge when the asparagus bed is too young, and the asparagus are too thin, the roots will not have an opportunity to establish themselves, which is necessary for a good strong bed with years of productivity ahead.* Even this year, there were many asparagus that I deemed too thin to pick. Even so, I had enough to grill, blanch and sauté, and try two asparagus recipes from Crescent Dragonwagon’s cookbook, Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: Asparagus and White Wine Soup and Composed Salad of Asparagus and Snow Peas, shown below.
The soup, made with few ingredients—basically cream, milk, white wine, and cheddar cheese—and thickened with a roux, is nicely suited to this spring vegetable. (more…)