The British asparagus season starts on 30th April and ends just eight short weeks later on 25th June, midnight – roughly. Fortunately it must be in season somewhere else in the world at the moment as the shops are awash with the stuff at Â£1.50 a bunch. Generally I prefer it as nature intended, au natural with a sprinkling of rock salt and a generous knob of slowly melting butter, however it is currently so plentiful other means of eating it needed to be found …
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Serves: 2 – 4
- asparagus – 1 large bunch
- 1 medium onion – thinly sliced
- 1 small potato – thinly sliced
- spinach – 75g
- butter – 40g
- vegetable stock – 1/2 litre
- s & p
- double cream – 50ml (optional)
Start by cutting the tops off the asparagus to a length of about 8cm and put aside.
Chop up the remaining stalks.
Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion and potato and gently cook until softened. Add the asparagus stalks and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until the stalks are tender.
Meanwhile blanch the asparagus tips in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and refresh in cold water.
Take the soup off the heat, add the spinach and liquidise.
Briefly fry the asparagus tips in butter.
When ready to eat, heat the soup, season and add the cream (if using).
Ladle into a dish and top with the asparagus tips.
Verdict: It has to be said the asparagus flavour is subtle, however it is still a tasty soup.
Entertainment: The climactic end to series 1 of Blakes 7. That’s exciting enough, but this DVD also has what is probably one of best extras of all time. Lesley Judd making a teleport bracelet on Blue Peter. Seems all you need is some cardboard, an orange squash bottle, brown paint, tin foil and a button.