I adapted this asparagus vichyssoise from another of my favorite cookbooks, Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi.
A very healthy, easy, tasty soup that can be put together in about 30 min. The asparagus take this vichyssoise to another level. The heavy cream can be substituted for cream cheese or sour cream, or omitted at all if you want to keep it dairy-free and vegan- and lighter (that’s actually how I do it most of the times). Ottolenghi serves it cold but we had it warm last night and it is delicious too.
Now to a funny anecdote about asparagus: have you ever noticed a funky smell in your urine after eating asparagus? Yes? Well, you’re not alone and scientist have studied it! They have seen that we all produce the substances that give the characteristic aroma but only some (anywhere between 20-50% of us) are able to detect it. Apparently, there is a genetic variation (more than 800 polymorfisms, that is single changes in our DNA) near different olfactory receptor genes that are responsible for one’s ability to smell the metabolites of asparagus in urine (Sniffing out significant “Pee values”: genome wide association study of asparagus anosmia. Markt SC et al. BMJ. 2016). So yes, it’s normal and it’s in your nose…
And after this fascinating piece of information, I leave you with a beautiful asparagus vichyssoise worth the smell (if you’re one of the 20-50%) 😉.
A twist on the original vichyssoise this asparagus vichyssoise takes this classic French soup to another level. It’s delicate, silky, simply beautiful.
1 lb asparagus
1 medium potato
2 tbs heavy cream
4 cups vegetable stock
Clean and cut the vegetables: peel and dice the potato, remove the hard end of the asparagus and cut in small pieces, cut and discard the dark green end of the leeks and cut the white end in thick rings.
If you want to decorate the soup reserve a few asparagus spears and boil them for 3-4 min.
Sauté all the vegetables with olive oil for about 10 minutes in low heat, until they are soft and fragrant.
Add vegetable stock, cover and let boil for another 20 min.
Transfer to a blender and reserve a bit of the stock to adjust the consistency of the soup. Add heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste and blend.
Serve warm or cold.
You can substitute the heavy cream for cream cheese or sour cream.
If you want it vegan and dairy-free just omit the heavy cream.
If you don’t have vegetable stock handy plain water will do.