A week and a half ago was what I consider the unofficial start to spring. It was the first week that asparagus showed up at the farmer's market! In my mind, asparagus heralds the return of the fresh produce of spring and a glimpse of what's to come. I eat asparagus continuously from when it first shows up in April or May until the season is over in June. I really never grow tired of it. And I refuse to buy it any other time of the year. What excitement this little vegetable brings.
The day after I brought my first bunch of asparagus home was a cold and rainy day. I decided that this meant it was time for this absolutely delicious, creamy and filling soup. Asparagus cooked in a some chicken broth until tender, then pureed until smooth with a little miso, maple syrup and parmesan cheese. A simply perfect combination to really showcase this wonderful vegetable in a different way.
I wanted to keep this soup fairly simple to allow the asparagus to really shine. I thought the miso would be a great way to add some depth and seasoning at the same time, the maple syrup and caramelized onions were important for that little bit of sweetness that most soups call for, and the parmesan cheese was the icing on the cake to really add some cheesy, creamy goodness. That's really about it. Blend it all together until smooth and dinner is served. With some nice crusty bread of course!
Creamy Parmesan Asparagus Soup with Caramelized Onions and Miso
From Delectably Mine
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon white miso
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
- 1 small garlic clove, lightly crushed
- 1/4-1/3 pound asparagus
- 2-3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Let it heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions and a pinch or two of kosher salt. Stir to combine. Let Cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and caramelize, adding a splash of water as needed to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, heat the stock and water over medium-high heat until simmering. Add the miso, maple syrup if using, and garlic. Cut the asparagus into roughly 1 inch pieces. Add the asparagus to the hot stock mixture and let cook until tender, 15-20 minutes. When the onions are fully caramelized, add them to the pot with the asparagus.
Once the asparagus is tender, transfer the entire mixture to a blender. Add the parmesan cheese and blend on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. (I went for about 5 minutes with my Vitamix. You might need to go longer with a less powerful blender). During the last minute of blending, slowly pour in an additional 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil while the blender is still running to allow the oil to completely emulsify into the soup.
Once completely smooth, transfer soup to soup bowls and garnish with additional parmesan cheese and a drizzle of good, fruity olive oil.