Asparagus & Pea Soup With Herb Crackers

Asparagus Soup & Herbed Crackers


With the temperatures well into the 90s already, it’s crazy to feel that Spring almost feels like a distant memory. But it is. Almost. I know how short the seasons can be for fruits and vegetables when I am able to find asparagus at the farmers market one week and hardly the next. I love seeing the display of these vibrant green or sometimes purple stalks.

Asparagus season always brings about fond memories of Sunday dinners back home in France. My heart strongly swayed in favor of freshly steamed artichokes but my mother had a knack for making steamed asparagus so perfectly well that my palate was all out of sorts when it came to pick a favorite. My favorite way to eat them was when she’d serve them with a light vinaigrette. Just like I liked artichokes in vinaigrette or leeks in vinaigrette. Clearly, I have a thing for vinaigrette!

Herbed Crackers


However, there are enough salads and vinaigrette in my Southern warm life to want to change things up. One of our other staples for dinners is often a big bowl of soup and a poached egg on top. We are big fans and big believers of the “life is better with poached egg on top”. Makes leftovers take on a brand new life, brings a simple dish of sauteed kale and garlic to new and wonderful heights and well, just makes us weak in the knees to see that yellow yokey goodness from a farm fresh egg …

I disgress…Soup! Yes! Soup holds a special place in our meals. When I was growing up, my mom would start every dinner with a small cup or bowl of soup. Just veggies, pureed smooth, no starch. Piping hot with a little swirl of creme fraiche. It was her ritual to ensure we’d get our veggies in. I created a whole game around it to try and name as many veggies she included as possible. I think it played a major role in developing my palate over the years.

Asparagus


When I was planning my move to the US in the late 90s, there was no doubt in my mind that I would keep this tradition of having soup at dinner. Then I moved to the South. The hot and humid climate of the region turned me away from steamy soup for a while. I went all out on gazpacho, Vichyssoise, cold cucumber and dill, etc… Slowly, over the years, I went back to warm, sometimes piping hot soup, no matter the weather. Not just vegetable soups like I had eaten all my life. I was onto lentil soup, chowders, single vegetable based soups, etc…

One day last week that I was making dinner for my parents(they are visiting us here), it felt as if I had turned their world upside down when I said I was going to make Asparagus and Pea Soup as a starter for dinner. We never had a soup with just two veggies when I was growing up! I knew this one would win them over just the way it had won B. over a couple of weeks before.

Pea Blossoms


Some really tasty meals can come out of throwing a bit of this and a little of that together in a pot. It happened with this soup. One I could make time and time over and eat just about as much. It tastes a bit different every time. It wraps the house with the softest smell of Spring.

I guess you can make it all year long and still enjoy some of the lovely flavors. You can have anything pretty much all year long the way supermarkets are set up these days. But I encourage you to take advantage of the ingredients in season where you are. Their taste is so intense that it will often surprise your tastebuds with this “I had forgotten an eggplant had this much flavor!”

Herbed Crackers


It happened with this soup when I combined the first asparagus of the season with a few handful of pea blossoms I picked up at the market. I knew the season would be short and I had waited long enough for each ingredient! That’s also why I love seasonal cooking. The wait and anticipation of the first raspberries, squash blossoms. Then the explosion of flavors in our mouths sending signals of goodness all through our souls.

This soup fits the bill perfectly. Simple. Satisfying. I bet it would be even better with a poached egg on top but the herb crackers I made to go along were a great complement and a nice change to croutons. Worth waiting another Spring for!

Asparagus Soup



Asparagus And Pea Soup with Herb Crackers:

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer and 4 as meal

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus (about one pound)
1 to 2 cups pea blossoms, pea shoots or peas (fresh or frozen)
2 gloves garlic, skin removed
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Snap the ends of the asparagus. Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Throw in the asparagus and cook them for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the asparagus from the water with a slotted spoon and place them in a blender or food processor (or deep bowl if using an immersion blender). Do not discard the cooking water. Bring back to a boil, throw in the pea blossoms, pea shoots or peas and cook for about 3 minutes if using pea shoots/blossoms, and 5 if using fresh or frozen peas. Add the garlic at the same time you add the peas. Remove from the heat and remove the pea shoots/blossoms/peas and garlic with a slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking liquid. Place in the blender with the asparagus and puree until smooth. You might need to add some of the cooking liquid to reach the consistency that you like. Season with salt and pepper and serve either hot or room temperatures.

Herbed Crackers:

Makes about 24 small ones

Ingredients:
1 stick butter at room temperature
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped oregano
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup milk (optional)

Directions:
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and egg yolks together on medium speed until creamy looking. Add salt and pepper and the herbs and whip for 10 seconds just to mix them in at low speed. Add the millet and sweet rice flour with the mixer still on low speed. If the mixture feels too crumbly add a little bit of milk to obtain a smooth but not too wet dough. Start with one tablespoon at a time.
Gather the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
When ready to bake, turn the oven to 350F and position a rack in the middle.
Roll the dough in between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Cut cookies out in the dough and place them on a parchment lined baing sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Serve with the soup.


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Comments

43 responses to “Asparagus & Pea Soup With Herb Crackers”

  1. claypotclub Avatar
    claypotclub

    I never thought to make my own crackers. Also, the soup looks lovely. Some peas have purple flowers. I wonder if those are edible? It would give the dish some interesting color.

  2. Averie Avatar
    Averie

    The soup looks wonderful! I love asparagus and I have never actually made asparagus soup.

    The cracker recipe looks lovely as well!

    And I've been seeing your book on various giveaways around the sphere…congrats, again, on it coming out!

  3. Kate@whatkatebaked Avatar
    Kate@whatkatebaked

    You're absolutely right-hand asparagus season is so limited you must take full advantage.. even if, as in my case, I end up having asparagus every single day in one form or another for a few short weeks!

  4. Barbara Avatar
    Barbara

    I have never seen pea shoots for sale here. Sounds interesting. I hope you are having fun with your parents. A cabin in the mountains sounds like a wonderful break.

  5. CopyKat Recipes Avatar
    CopyKat Recipes

    This photo looks lovely. I love asparagus soup, but never thought about adding peas to it, what a wonderful way to enjoy spring.

  6. Dolly Avatar
    Dolly

    that looks so healthy and ohh so yummy for this cold weather..

    🙂

    love the styling too!

  7. Caroline @ Pink Basil Avatar
    Caroline @ Pink Basil

    I love asparagus, but my husband isn't always the biggest fan. He loves peas though – do you think he might like it? Have you ever made this with roasted asparagus?

    Love the photos 🙂

  8. Kristin Nicholas Avatar
    Kristin Nicholas

    Lovely photos as usual. I am a sheep farmer and knitwear designer living in Massachusetts. I am loving your book and have recommended it to my readers as all the principles work beautifully for yarn and knitted project photography.
    Have a great weekend with your parents and thank you!

  9. carolina @ patagonia gifts Avatar
    carolina @ patagonia gifts

    I have to try this! thanks for sharing. have a lovely weekend, darling! xo

  10. Parisbreakfasts Avatar
    Parisbreakfasts

    Mon dieu!
    So gorge!!!
    I must review yr new book on PB soon
    XX Carolg

  11. Alethia Avatar
    Alethia

    This looks so vibrant and yummy!

  12. jenna Avatar
    jenna

    i live for soup recipes! this spring soup looks amazing and so creamy. your herbed crackers are gorgeous!

  13. london bakes Avatar
    london bakes

    I love how simple this soup is. Sometimes the best meals are made from minimal ingredients. And beautiful photos as ever.

  14. Sally Avatar
    Sally

    Dear Helene, I love the tradition of having a small bowl of soup before a meal. I think it adds something special and makes an everyday meal an occasion, but I don't think it is a common practice in American households. This soup, in its little bowl, entices us. I'm also crackers about crackers, and have been thinking about making some; your photos inspire me, as always.

  15. keiko Avatar
    keiko

    so lovely Helene – hope you're having a wonderful time with your parents. x

  16. Kristina Avatar
    Kristina

    Hmmm, it look so tasty!

  17. Bonbon Oiseau Avatar
    Bonbon Oiseau

    OOooo helen! So pretty. I am going to try this tonight–the asparagus is so beautiful now and I also picked up some pea shoots too!
    I just made a raw asparagus salad last night dressed with a light vinaigrette topped with shaved parmesan a la the Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook. Je recommende lovely lady!!!

  18. elizabeyta Avatar
    elizabeyta

    I have been craving crackers recently and I may just have to give these a shot. Thanks so much!

  19. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    Mmm this looks fantastic! Gorgeous photos. 🙂

  20. Morgan Avatar
    Morgan

    Could you please tell me how long the crackers will last?

    Thanks!

  21. Unknown Avatar
    Unknown

    That soup does sound lovely, keeping the ingredient list simple with a soup is nice because you're able to really taste everything in it, without so many different tastes trying to overpower one another. I love the pea blossoms, they are so beautiful! I've never seen them used in a dish before, must try and find some round here. Farmer's markets 🙂

  22. meg Avatar
    meg

    love the gorgeous color of this soup. and i've never tried making homemade crackers – thanks for the great idea!

  23. Gen Avatar
    Gen

    Quel délice les asperges! Surtout les vertes! J'ai justement une botte dans ma cuisine, je crois que je vais me laisser tenter par une soupe printanière!

  24. Dana @TheSundaySweet Avatar
    Dana @TheSundaySweet

    I love asparagus, especially when used in soup. It has the best taste and texture in my opinion. Beautiful post.

  25. smiles, Sharon Avatar
    smiles, Sharon

    It is so fun waiting for your new photos and yummy foods. The green of your soup is my favorite color. Today I posted a blog about your radish, brie, turkey sandwich. Also your fantastic book. I hope it brings many new readers to your blog and buyers to your book. Smile!

  26. Sneh | Cook Republic Avatar
    Sneh | Cook Republic

    Beautiful soup and stunning pictures! I love making asparagus soup but have never thought of combining with pea. What a lovely idea! Thnx for sharing, the cracker recipe looks very inviting!

  27. emm Avatar
    emm

    Beautiful post as always. I'm loving those crackers :-)Thank you.

  28. Maurina Avatar
    Maurina

    Wow… I am drooling now, looking at those wonderful pictures. I love different kind of soups.. and never thought of making one with asparagus. it's a brilliant idea. As asparagus is expensive in Jakarta, can I substitute with broccoli? or string bean?

    And the cracker? what a good way to get use of the egg yolks left from baking macarons. Thank you Helene

  29. Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet  Avatar
    Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet

    What a perfectly delish soup for the Spring season. Love, love the homemade crackers. Stunning photo that make my mouth water. Enjoy the long holiday weekend!

  30. Michelle Stiles Avatar
    Michelle Stiles

    Oh I adore a simple soup of simple fresh pureed vegetables. This is a welcome addition to the Spring vegetable roundup.

  31. Katherine Avatar
    Katherine

    I am definitely in the everything is better with a poached egg camp! This soup looks absolutely amazing. The embodiment of spring.

  32. Weekend Cowgirl Avatar
    Weekend Cowgirl

    I love pea soup. I love asparagus. This ought to be the soup for me!

  33. Cookin' Canuck Avatar
    Cookin' Canuck

    Count me into the "everything's better with a poached egg on top" camp. This soup is lovely, Helene – simple and beautiful.

  34. marla Avatar
    marla

    Can I tell you how excited I am to see you at evo this July? I am looking forward to a conference in the mountains. Hopefully this one is a bit smaller than others. This soup looks wonderful & I am with you and Dara – a poached egg on top makes everything better.

  35. The InTolerant Chef ™ Avatar
    The InTolerant Chef ™

    Great crackers, they sound fantastic, and the soup looks so lovely too.

  36. Patricia Scarpin Avatar
    Patricia Scarpin

    I'm making soup for lunch today (roasted cauliflower, it's fall here) and now I want to try this asparagus pea soup too, Helen! Looks delicious, so fresh!
    The crackers are amazing as well.

    xx

  37. ChichaJo Avatar
    ChichaJo

    As your spring ends our summer ends, a whole new season…but for us it's the "rainy/wet" season (we only have two, wet and dry). But I totally agree with you about enjoying produce when in season, even if our seasons here are not as varied 🙂 This soup sounds wonderful!

  38. test it comm Avatar
    test it comm

    I like how simple the recipe is and it looks great!

  39. Laura Avatar
    Laura

    Helene,
    amazon sent me a request to review books I recently ordered and since I am in love with your book I happily obliged. I can't thank you enough for your amazing book, I feel like you are right next to me talking about your photos, this is a great talent you have!

    Mercî!

  40. Heva Avatar
    Heva

    Lovely pictures today!

  41. marilyn Avatar
    marilyn

    Gosh this asparagus soup looks beautiful and definitely going to make the savoury crackers, thanks for such a great and fresh cooking site, marilyn from Down Under

  42. Heike Herrling - but it tasted good! Avatar
    Heike Herrling – but it tasted good!

    This will make an absolutely perfect starter to dinner party I'm having next weekend – brilliant – thankyou!

  43. Erin Avatar
    Erin

    Even though it's fall, I just made this soup. It was delicious! I can't wait to make it when asparagus is actually in season.

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