Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cream of Asparagus Soup and Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits: A Hearty Meal For A Lazy Sunday Afternoon

We had a rare quiet Sunday and of course our thoughts turned to ...eating!! Last week I purchased some thin and really healthy looking spring asparagus, a favorite vegetable of mine, and they were still sitting in the refrigerator begging to be cooked. Asparagus soup came to mind.

This past week we had two days of relative warmth but as the fickleness of late February would have it, we quickly transited back to a cold and windy weekend. Soup sounded like the perfect fare for the waning days of winter.

A word about asparagus: this vegetable has so many health benefits that I wondered why I didn't cook it every day! It reminds me a bit of the tiny but powerful blueberry, jam packed full of all good things. Here's a list of some asparagus pluses.


  • Can detoxify our system
  • has anti-aging functions
  • can protect against cancer
  • reduces pain and inflammation
  • can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
  • reduces the risk of heart disease
  • lowers cholesterol
  • Is antifungal and antiviral
  • cleanse the body and prevent kidney stones
  • Prevents bladder and urinary tract infections
  • lowers blood pressure naturally
  • stimulates hair production and is one of the best super foods for balding.
  • help prevent birth defects

Often we use pills as food supplements to get some of the benefits I listed above but eating healthy whole foods is so much better. Asparagus contains loads of potassium, folates, Vitamin K and fiber. For optimum health benefits it is suggested that asparagus be eaten raw.

So now that we're all feeling guilty about pill popping our vitamin and mineral supplements, get out your cooking equipment and prepare to make a very easy soup. If you don't have asparagus, you can make this with broccoli or cauliflower. The buttermilk biscuits have really no redeeming qualities but they are so delicious especially when just removed from the oven. Was this simple soup meal easy to make? Yes and yes. The soup took about a half hour, the biscuits about fifteen minutes.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

1 pound fresh asparagus
3‑1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light cream or half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • Trim and discard ends of asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. Combine asparagus and 1 cup broth in medium saucepan; cook 12 to 15 minutes or until tender.
  • Set aside 1 cup asparagus. Purée remaining asparagus pieces with broth in blender or food processor.
  • Melt butter in large saucepan. Stir in flour. Gradually add remaining broth and cook stir until slightly thickened. Stir in cream, salt, pepper, puréed asparagus mixture and top with reserved asparagus pieces.

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 TBS cold butter
1 cups cold buttermilk


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Whisk all of the dry ingredients together. Place the flour mixture into a food processor and add the butter cut into small pieces. Pulse the flour a few times until the flour looks like coarse crumbs or use 2 knives or a pastry blender. Work with cold butter and stop when your flour resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Form a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Add the cold buttermilk. Add the liquid into the dry ingredients slowly and gently. Combine all the dry with the wet ingredients. Add more buttermilk ½ TBS at a time if needed. The dough should be sticky.
  • Flour a large board or use your counter. Place the dough on the board and spread it out using your fingers. Flatten it until it is about ½ inch thick. Cut your biscuits using a biscuit cutter or a large glass. Repeat the process until you have cut all of your biscuits.
  • Place the biscuits on a baking sheet close to each other. This will let them get taller. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.

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