Celebrate National Asparagus Month with a healthy bowl of cream of asparagus soup

Celebrate National Asparagus Month

The month of May is National Asparagus Month. Michigan ranks third in the nation for asparagus production and produces 25 million pounds of fresh asparagus each year; the total annual value of the Michigan asparagus crop is estimated at $15 million.

In Michigan asparagus is harvested late April to early May, through late June. The Michigan Asparagus Association says nutritionally asparagus is a good source of folic acid, potassium, fiber, vitamins B6, A, C and thiamin.

Asparagus can be used as an appetizer, in salads, side dishes or as an entrée; but a classic recipe to prepare is cream of asparagus soup. Below is a healthy recipe for cream of asparagus soup that I personally enjoy.

Fresh Cream of Asparagus Soup

1/2 stick of low-fat margarine

1/2 cup of chopped onions

1/2 garlic clove crushed

Salt and black pepper

2 pounds of fresh asparagus (trim off ends and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)

6 cups of low-salt chicken broth

1 pint of low-fat sour cream

Directions:

In a saucepan melt margarine and add onions and garlic, cook for about five minutes, season with salt and pepper. Add asparagus and cook for four minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until asparagus is very tender. Carefully transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth; return mixture to large pot and stir in low-fat sour cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 For more consumer information about Michigan produce download the Michigan State University Extension Michigan Fresh – Using, Storing and Preparing Asparagus.

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