Hi everyone, I’ll be making a really cheap asparagus soup today but before I get to that I thought I’d give you all a brief update of what’s going on here.
Well, let’s see now – not a huge deal to be honest. Things are ticking along much as they always do. The days are getting shorter and shorter and “darkness” is but a distant memory right now. It never gets dark at the moment. It will get a little more “dusky” between 11pm and 1am, but still not very dark. I couldn’t sleep the other night and went down to get a sandwich at 3am. I was met with the sun streaming in through the window, fairly high in the sky.
On the 22nd of June it will be the longest day – the sun will “set” at 11.30pm, and come right back up again at 1.46am, giving us a day-length of 21 hours, 44 minutes. I’d like to say that I have no problem sleeping, but it’s not easy. Time to invest in some light-killing curtains and turn my bedroom into a black-hole every night I think!
Since the soup I made for today’s recipe isn’t very pretty, I thought I’d show you all a passion flower as well, from a plant I recently gave to my mother-in-law. The flowers only last for a day, but the little plant I bought has already had three gorgeous flowers!
Cheap Asparagus Soup
On to the soup though; we’ve been eating a fair bit of asparagus recently since it’s been available for a very low price. I always feel bad about the woody ends which I snap off though since they too have plenty of flavour in. They’re just cast aside because the texture leaves a bit to be desired. What better thing to do than turn them into a soup? If you have a fair bit of asparagus then save those stems – you can chuck them into a soup like this and get an asparagus soup for next to nothing!
Cheap Asparagus Soup
- The tough woody parts of ~21 Asparagus spears
- 1 large potato
- 1 large onion
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start off by washing and peeling the asparagus stalks and peeling the potato as well. Chop the potato into large chunks.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. When hot, add in the chopped onion and sauté lightly until turning golden in colour.
- Add the chopped potato and prepared asparagus to the saucepan and add enough stock to just cover the vegetables.
- Cover the pan and bring to the boil before lowering the heat and simmering for about 20 minutes, until the potato and asparagus is nice and soft.
- Purée until smooth and sieve if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.
The soup has a mild flavour which goes very well with something fresh tasting - lemon juice, sour cream or crème fraîche all work well.
Fantastic idea to use up the tough asparagus parts! Thank you for reminding me I shouldn’t throw the ugly parts so easily. I am one of those rare women who don’t like flowers (I should even say I hate when someone brings me flowers, so I make sure family and friends know it and bring something different instead or just nothing; unless the flowers are edible of course 😉 ), but this one looks just amazing! Is it the passion fruit’s flower?
I have always wondered how people stand the very short days in winter and “white” nights afterwards… Do the locals have difficulties too or only those who are not used to it?
Yeah, my wife isn’t a huge flower person either, and although I do like flowers they’re just TERRIBLE in terms of their carbon footprint. Every week there is a huge truck here parked outside a nearby florist, delivering tulips from holland (Dutch plate on the truck). Of course, I’m sure he stops at many places, not just here, but to come all the way up here, pumping out diesel fumes, just to deliver a few flowers which will provide beauty in peoples’ homes for maybe… a week? It’s just terrible 🙁
I’d always thought it wasn’t, but apparently the passion fruit does indeed come from this family of plants (perhaps not this plant exactly…).
Chica Andaluza says
Love asparagus and it’s the season right now but have not made soup yet. Time to change that! I thought it was hard sleeping in the UK with daylight right now at 5am…I’d be blacking out my windows where you are 😉
lol, once I’m asleep I have no problem staying asleep, so daylight at 5am would be no problem to me… it’s just getting to that point for me that’s the problem!
I’m sorry that I threw away the bottom inch or two of the last bundle of asparagus I bought cause I could have whipped this up. Oh well, I may just have to use the top parts of the stalks. 🙂
The passion flower is so showy so I guess it’s a trade off for the short life of the flower.
Hehe, well, if you used the top parts then the soup would be even nicer… and less fibrous to boot!
I can’t begin to imagine that long of a day. Part of me thinks I would love it. I’ve always wanted extra hours in my day! The other part of me however would definitely need blackout shades. How does William do? My kids would use it as an excuse to delay bedtime for sure! Your soup looks great. A very clever way to use up the woody ends.
Yeah, it’s an experience for sure! I hope you’ll be able to come and experience it some day. William seems to do ok – he sleeps lighter, I’d say. The problem is, the light, coupled with the heat, which means we leave the bedroom window open, means that even slight sounds often cause him to stir (rooster, I’m looking at you!).
Gourmet Getaways says
What a lovely flower! Hey, the soup looked fine :). Besides, anything inexpensive and healthy at the same time is perfect!
Thanks Julie – I wasn’t feeling in a very artistic mood so the photo wasn’t one of my better ones, but as long as it looks edible it’s ok 😀
Hotly Spiced says
That’s a great use for those asparagus stalks. I always hate throwing them away – it feels so wasteful! It will be a while before asparagus is in season downunder but when I do start to buy it again I’ll remember what I can do with the fibrous ends of the stalks. That sure is an incredible amount of daylight! I definitely would be investing in some block-out blinds! xx
Coffee and Crumpets says
I’m terrible at keeping the bits and bobs. I’m good sometimes but with the asparagus I just pitched two bundles worth. Argh, and I even looked at them thinking that I should keep them! Sometimes we all need a reminder. Gorgeous flower! As far as your long days. That would drive me nuts. I can’t stand the daylight savings we do here, it’s light until 8.3o and it drives me crazy. Another reason to love winter 🙂
Argh, you should have at least saved them for stock! Bung them in the freezer until the bag is full of vegetable odds and ends and boil it up!
Light until 8.30… lol, “you poor thing” :D. I don’t mind a bit more brightness in the summer… makes everything seem so lazy and nice, but round the clock daylight is a bit much.
Eva Taylor says
What a coincidence! I do exactly the same thing (see this post from 2009: http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/cottage-closing-weekend-a-bit-early/) with my asparagus tips! I love the idea of using ingredients that would normally be destined for the compost bin, nicely done Charles.
That flower is beautiful, I’ve never seen one before, thank you for sharing it.
I would have a lot of trouble sleeping with so much light; it’s incredible to have sunshine last so long. Conversely, I bet the winters are very tough without it, I suspect there is a lot of depression (SAD) there. How do the gardens fare with so much sun?
Hi Eva, I’m not sure to be honest, I suppose so, but Swedish people do like to “make hay while the sun shines”, so they’ll usually adapt their outdoor activities to when there is daylight (i.e. being sure to get out and about in the sun in winter). I can’t imagine what it must be like further north where the sun never rises in the winter…
What a great soup! Usually I compost the asparagus ends, but it looks like I’ll be saving the next batch.
Thanks MJ – you should try to save the ends for making stock at least, if nothing else – super tasty!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Ohhh that’s right! Your daytime gets super long. I guess now is your time to work and stock up your recipe photos, heh? 😀 You don’t need to worry like the rest of us… You can photo shoot all day long. 😉 Just kidding… I love asparagus, yet haven’t made the soup out of it. This sounds so good. I need to get good baguettes to enjoy this soup too!
I should head out for some photos some day at 1 in the morning – might be fun to post on my blog next time! 🙂
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
I *loved* the name of your soup — made me laugh out loud! But I must comment on the passion flower. In case you haven’t been warned, you could come to regret ever planting a passion flower vine. It is THE most invasive plant in the world and will quickly climb every tree, roof, wall, surface in the general vicinity! Unless you want to fight it for the rest of your life, kill it now, my friend, kill it now!
lol, don’t worry Jean – this is just going to stay in a pot all on its lonesome. I would never survive planted outside here 😀
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says
Wow, Charles, as I read your description of near perpetual light, I’m sitting here wondering how the Nordic people have adapted over the years to the situation of constant dark and/or light as both have potent effects on mind/body. Lack of darkness severely restricts the body’s ability to produce melatonin — that critical sleep hormone — which is essential for wellbeing. As a newcomer to the country, this must be so impactful. I would be investing in dark, heavy curtains for sure and perhaps the use of melatonin supplements initially. What a great idea to add potato to your lovely asparagus soup — a natural thickening agent. That passion flower is spectacular!
I got confused for a minute and thought you were talking about serotonin, and I was going to reply and tell you that I eat copious quantities of chocolate, but then I realised that you weren’t :D.
I think the climate here definitely explains a few things about people here are, on the plus side though, with a lack of darkness perhaps I should grow vegetables which benefit from such conditions? I hear cabbages will just grow and grow when faced with non-stop light!
So, please talk to me about that gorgeous marbled bread there on the side. How did you do that, please?
Haha, you’re the only person to comment on it! I was really pleased with how it turned out, but wasn’t sure if I should post a recipe since it was quite easy. Basically, I made my no-knead bread (here: https://homesweetsweden.com/2013/08/no-knead-bread-in-two-hours-or-less/) and but before adding the water to the flour, I divided it into two bowls. I left one bowl “plain”, and then added some (unsweetened) cocoa to the other bowl. You don’t need much – perhaps 2 or 3 tablespoons. Then I just added the water as normal and once the two doughs were risen I divided each block into three, rolled them out into long sausages and plaited them together to form a giant loaf. Looked gorgeous, and tasted amazing too… the flavour wasn’t really like “chocolate”… more like a lovely earthy flavour in the dark part!
…..I just wrote comment in here … disappeared!
I really can’t imagine how it be like to have nights that…not dark! Japanese call it ‘White night’ interesting indeed.
I should remember not to throw away the tough parts of asparagus.
My daughter has many passion fruit trees. Hawaiian name is lilikoi (I’m not sure of the spelling). The flower looks similar to yours but in different color. Many Japanese cake shops sell passion fruits infused cakes now days. Love, love passion fruits! Love your super nice flower photo!