Too much asparagus! (Or kale or broccoli or leeks)

It’s a terrible problem to have… I’m such a good vegetable gardener that my harvest is too big! When you grow your own food, it does tend to come all at once sometimes. You can preserve some vegetables (e.g. freezing or canning) – but it sure is nice to use your produce fresh whenever possible. So when I have too much greens such as asparagus, kale, broccoli or leeks, I make a quick soup. You don’t even need a recipe.

Basically, the “slow” version of how to do it (which is actually very fast) is:

You sautée a chopped onion in a cooking pot on a medium-low, while you clean and chop the garden vegetable. Once the onion is transparent, add your fresh green veggie and sautée it for another few minutes, then add enough stock to just barely cover it (or even just water and salt if that’s all you have). Boil it or ten minutes or so, blend it – then – important for a rich tasty soup – add a bit of fat to make it creamy. I use coconut cream (a third to a half a can) but you can use a third of a cup of regular dairy cream (like from a cow) if you prefer.

Taste it for salt and pepper – you’ll probably need to add some. Then serve! And if you are in a real rush (the fast version), don’t even worry about the sautéeing part. Just put the stock or water on to boil and chuck the onion and veggies in.

These photos were taken 1 hour and seven minutes apart:

That’s pretty darn fresh and nutritious!

A few slight variations and hints, depending upon which veggie you are using:

Leeks: Don’t use as much onion, and add a couple potatoes, finally diced, to make the soup thicker.

Broccoli: Shorten the boiling stage to just a couple of minutes, so the broccoli becomes bright green (leave it too long and it will fade to greyish-green). You’ll be shocked by how green real home-made soup is!

Kale: Definitely adding some potato to the kale thickens it up (or you can mix kale and broccoli together, or leeks, too – you can mix and match all you want). And, as for broccoli, only boil it for a few minutes to preserve the bright colour and nutrients.

Asparagus: You can boil this one a bit longer – and if you want to get fancy, you can cut off the tips and steam them separately to use as a fancy garnish, like I did below.

Cheese: Grating some parmesan or reggiano on top adds both flavour and protein – a big bowl of one of these soups with cheese on top actually makes for a pretty hearty meal!

I harvested the asparagus shown at the top of this post a couple of days ago – and here is what it looked like a couple of hours later. Yummy home-grown vegetable soup, no recipe required! I’ve always been a proponent of “eat local, eat seasonal.” You can’t get more seasonal and local than that.

If you want to learn more about growing (and eating) vegetables at home, check out The Food Garden books or sign up for updates and info on my Contacts page.

Published by Jacqueline Windh

I'm a writer, photographer, and radio broadcaster who is concerned about our planet and how we live our lives - hoping my work helps people to find new ways of thinking about issues such as personal health, wilderness, the environment, food security, thinking about the future. These things are all connected, you know...

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