New week, new blog, new series. After indulging in the exotic, spicy Moroccan dishes we decided to go back to the inland, so this week we travel all the way back to center Europe. Ladies and Gentlemen, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren, may I introduce you to a brand new Cook N Bake German Series.
German cuisine is very well known because of its kartoffeln and würste, potatoes and sausage dishes, however these dishes vary from region to region, which is the reason why we can find about 1500 different varieties of sausages throughout the country! Meat is the most consumed food in Germany, especially pork, followed by beef and poultry. Fish is mainly trouts, pike and carp. Vegetables are also extremely popular in Germany, especially in stews. Among the desserts we find German doughnuts, krapfen, Black Forest cake, pretzels and different kind of pudding.
To start off, we selected a dish from the northern region of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen): the Cream of Asparagus Soup. As simple as it sounds, this dish is indeed one of the most appreciated delicacies in Lower Saxony, where vegetables like potatoes, kale and spargel, asparagus, are extremely popular. From April through June asparagus is in season and some restaurants dedicate their whole menu to asparagus dishes.
This perennial plant was introduced in the 16th century and since then it spread throughout the country. Considered a luxury food in the 18th century, eventually it became one of the most popular vegetables that’s been inspiring chef’s creativity.
White asparagus is the one we are going to use for this week’s recipe. In its simplicity, Cream of Asparagus Soup is a very elegant dish if served in a small bowl or – why not – clear cup. Just remember to peel the white asparagus since they do have an outer layer that we do not want to include. Also, a couple of tips are: use just a minimal amount of water, and add a little sugar to reduce the bitterness of the asparagus.
Start your dinner with a classic German, low calorie dish!
Ingredients ( served 6):
1/2 c. chopped onion (1 small)
2 T. butter
1 1/2 -2 lb. white asparagus, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces, heads reserved
6 c. broth, either chicken or vegetable
1/2 c. half and half cream
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Dry white wine, to taste
Parsley for garnish
Make sure you peel white asparagus before you chop it into small pieces. Here is a method for prepping white asparagus.
Sauté the onion in the butter until soft in the bottom of a 4 quart saucepan. Add the pieces of asparagus (minus the heads) and steam for 5 minutes. Add the broth and boil gently for about 30 minutes, or until the asparagus is very soft.
Purée the soup in batches in the blender (place a towel over the lid and hold down the lid so the hot soup does not splatter) or with a hand blender and return to pan.
Bring to a simmer and add the reserved asparagus heads. Cook at least 5 minutes, or until they are fork-tender. Turn down the heat and add the cream. Do not boil further.
Taste and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. You may also want to add a few spoonfuls of white wine, if you think the soup needs acidity. Garnish with parsley.
Recipe from http://germanfood.abou.com
Image copyright of Caste, Alain