Cooking for a living has begun to take over all of my thoughts. Isabella’s newly sewn pink dress isn’t an article of clothing, but a piece of watermelon. Everywhere I go I think about new dishes and ingredients, and there is no off button to press. Just dials on the stove to let me make more food. I feel like a composer sometimes, only instead of notes, I hear shallots, pancetta and fried chicken. It’s driving me crazy, really it is. I love love love teaching people to cook… but seriously. Enough is enough.
This recipe was born out of one of these fits of inspiration. We often teach a cream of asparagus soup in our spring classes, but I was making a Thai dish one day and the idea to infuse it with coconut, lemongrass and ginger just jumped into my head. It has quickly become a family favorite and it worked out so well that I used it for my latest appearance on Connecticut Style. Although a video exists on WTNH, it was very fast, and we thought you’d appreciate seeing how to make this lively Asian inspired soup step-by-step, so here it is:
We start with the freshest ingredients, which includes, lemon juice, lemongrass, ginger, asparagus and coconut milk, but there are others as well, including yellow onions and chicken or vegetable broth.
First, we need to peel the lemongrass, an ingredient commonly found in Asian food stores and in some supermarkets, especially Whole Foods.
Then you have to cut most of the stalk away. We only want the part of the lemongrass that has purple rings.
Then – and really pay attention to this or the lemongrass with be tough and stringy – you have to smash it hard several times with a knife. Until it looks like this
Then put the lemongrass in a mini food processor with a teaspoon or two of oil until finely minced and looks like this:
Then you need to peel the ginger. You can peel it in many different ways by using a melon baller, sturdy spoon or vegetable peeler. Afterwards, finely mince the ginger in a mini chopper as well. You can, obviously, do that by hand, it will just take much longer.
After sautéeing the onions until they are glassy, add the lemongrass and ginger and continue sautéeing until the ginger and lemongrass start to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add the asparagus, salt and pepper and cook for another five minutes.
Add the broth (chicken or vegetable – we like to use vegetable when we’re cooking for a crowd, since then we can make this vegan and everyone can eat it!) and give the mixture a good stir in a large pot, such as a Dutch oven. Cook for 15 minutes and then puree the soup either in a blender (after letting the mixture cool) or an immersion blender right inside the pot, our preferred choice.
Add a bit of lemon, give it a good stir, and serve. The great thing about this soup, next to the amazing flavor, is that it tastes great for several days and can certainly be made the day before company. And there you have it! Serve with a garnish of mint, or chives.
Click here to get the complete recipe written up on Food52!