Cynthia Clifton  |  5/27/2014 6:55:14 PM

One of the first vegetables to pop-out of the ground during the spring is the Asparagus. This vegetable can be eaten with a fork or fingers. It is yummy.

A food source of folic acid, asparagus contains vitamin B that helps to lower the risk of heart and liver disease. It also contains large amounts of Glutathione, riboflavin, vitamin B6, copper, vitamin A, iron, phosphorus and zinc.

This vegetable comes in three different colors: green, white and purple. The color that is seen the most is green. White is more tender, but less favorable and purple has a fruity taste. When purchasing asparagus, always select the bright color, close, compact and firm tips. Make sure that the stalks are not yellowing or limp. Remember to refrigerate in a covered sealed container or plastic Ziploc bag for only up to three days.

Before cooking the asparagus, snap off the bottom and wash well in cold water to remove any dirt or sand that maybe still on the vegetable. Asparagus can be cooked in several different ways:

 Steamed with butter, seasoning or a sauce 
 Blanched cold with vinaigrette or mustard sauce 
 Pureed as a soup 
 Grilled smoky flavor 
 Chopped stir fried in pasta, omelets, quiches or salads

Creamy Asparagus Soup

1 pound of asparagus, cleaned and chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
½ tsp. Herbs de Provence
1 cup milk or Half-n-Half
3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Over medium heat, add oil, celery and onions to a large soup pot. Sauté until soft. Add asparagus, potato, Herbs de Provence and soup stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Puree soup until smooth with a stick blender, food processor or blender. Stir milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.


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