I love Saturdays spent wandering Lancaster’s Central Market getting inspired by what’s in season for a menu. This weekend I was drawn to stalks of purple crowned asparagus and sturdy spring onions that starred in a quick spring soup for Sunday supper at The Heany House. You’ll love the surprise finish.
This soup can easily be made vegetarian by swapping out the chicken stock for vegetable and omitting the crab (vegan by swapping butter).
Speaking of butter, with only one tablespoon used, and no heavy cream or other dairy, I’d consider this a pretty darn healthy soup – loaded with veggies – pure tastes of spring.
Spring Soup with Asparagus & Crab
3 bunches fresh asparagus (find it locally all over Lancaster right now from roadside farm stands to markets)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt & pepper
4 cloves garlic (take the extra step to buy this locally – most of the stuff in the grocery store is from China, yuck)
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay from my fridge)
32 ounce box chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 pound fresh Maryland crab (April marked the first day of fresh Maryland crab season! Go for lump if you’re feeling fancy, or backfin will do – Mr. Bill’s on Harrisburg Pike and Central Market in Lancaster has it fresh every day.)
Truffle salt for garnish (I buy mine at The Herb Shop at Lancaster Central Market)
- Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes along with peeled garlic cloves.
- Heat butter in a med-large saucepan and saute chopped spring onions for about 3 minutes (reserving some for garnish, if desired).
- Add wine and simmer another 3 minutes.
- Add stock and very roughly chopped asparagus (it will get pureed later).
- Remove pan from heat and blend soup with an immersion blender or stick blender.(Alternatives if you do not own an immersion blender: chop asparagus before roasting to 1-inch pieces and serve soup chunky. Or allow soup to cool slightly and pour into standard blender, then back into pan to reheat. *Then add an immersion blender to your Mother’s/Father’s Day or gift-to-self lists. Seriously it’s one of the best tools you can have in the kitchen. We received a Cuisinart immersion blender as a wedding gift 7 years ago, have used it immeasurably, and it still works like a champ. Check local kitchen shops like Mies en Place or Zest.)
- Gently fold in crab.
- Finish each spooned out bowl with truffle salt to finish and enjoy this pure bowl of spring sensation! (We added a simple salad of spinach tossed in Giant’s Simply Enjoy Champagne Pear Vinaigrette with a few marinated artichokes – a perfectly seasonal side.)