Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cold Broccoli, Asparagus and Green Bean Soup

People don't normally think of soups when it's 100 degrees and sunny outside, as it is in Los Angeles this week. There are a variety of yummy soups that are great for warm weather such as gazpacho (tomato and cucumber) and vichyssoise (potato and leek) that are served cold. These soups are also fantastic accompaniments to salads and sandwiches.

I had a fantastic asparagus soup at a bridal shower over the weekend. Butter, cream, and asparagus, yummmm. I loved it so much I wanted to make it but with a bit of a variation, I wanted it cold. I also had a bunch of other green vegetables that needed to be eaten soon and I figured soup was a good way to use everything up.

1 lb asparagus
1/2 lb broccoli
1/2 lb green beans
1 brown onion chopped
6 c low sodium chicken stock
1 c skim milk
1 1/2 T flour
2 T olive oil
1 t fresh thyme
1/4 lemon or 1 T vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


Heat large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat with 1 T oil
Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes until onion starts to become translucent
Remove ends of asparagus and toss, remove tips and set aside 10 for garnish
Chop remaining asparagus into 1/2" pieces and add to pot
Cut green beans in 1/2" pieces and add to pot
Cut broccoli into small florets and add to pot, cook for 5 minutes
Add chicken broth and thyme and cook for 20 minutes
Remove from heat and blend soup in batches, transferring to another pot
Once soup is blended set aside
Heat a small sauce pan to medium low heat with remaining T of oil
Mix in flour, salt and pepper
Cook for 2 minutes but do not let it brown
Whisk in milk until dissolved and creamy, remove from heat
Heat vegetable puree back to medium and stir in milk mixture
Once the soup is slightly thickened remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice or vinegar
Allow to cool at room temperature for at least an hour then cool completely before serving
Garnish with asparagus tips

I wanted my soup right away, so I put a bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes, worked great. But if you are serving more than yourself, this is better made a day ahead. It also freezes well. Also, I had collard greens and spinach and I tossed those in the soup as well. It was pretty darn good.

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