I subscribe to the old fashioned method of preparing asparagus, i.e. snapping. Snapping the asparagus stem between your fingers near the base ensures that you are left with a tender piece in one hand and a woodier piece in the other. However, there is more waste with this method, instead of just cutting off and peeling the bottom portion. To ensure that nothing goes to waste I chop up the normally discarded ends and use them for making fresh pea and asparagus soup. If I’m not going to make the soup for a while, or don’t have enough asparagus ends, I bag them up and put them in the freezer for later.
This soup is very easy to make, very tasty and thrifty, because as well as using the discarded asparagus ends, I also use re-grown green onions (spring onions) and home-made chicken stock. The recipe was developed from my wife’s recipe, but she uses tinned asparagus for convenience.
Recipe for Asparagus and Pea Soup
Total time: 30 mins
- 1 pint of chicken stock
- 9 green onions (spring onions)
- 1lb (450g) of frozen peas
- 5.5oz (150g) fresh asparagus
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Crispy bacon pieces, crème fraiche, cooked asparagus tips or croutons to garnish
You could substitute the fresh asparagus ends for canned (tinned) asparagus for a quicker soup and also you could use split peas instead of frozen peas for a cheaper soup.
Sauté the green onions in a little vegetable, or olive oil, then add the asparagus, the chicken stock and the peas. Bring to a boil and then to a simmer. Cook the soup for about 20-25mins until the asparagus ends are tender. Use a hand blender and purée the soup until smooth and free from lumps. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a choice of crispy bacon pieces, crème fraiche, croutons or some cooked asparagus tips.
To increase the thrift, I keep the fat after frying the bacon in a bowl in the fridge. It’s a really good way of adding flavour to any dish. Try to use uncured bacon to cut down on the nitrates.