Maybe it's because I grew up in Stockton, California, home of the Asparagus Festival (and one of the largest asparagus-producing areas in the world). But the arrival of spring and the arrival of fresh asparagus in the market have always been synonymous for me. Of course, asparagus has been in the stores for several weeks now, but this was the first weekend where the weather finally cooperated enough to make us feel that spring was finally here.
Portland finally shook off its long-lasting gray blahs this weekend and gave us a couple of days' worth of gorgeous sun-drenched weather instead. This soup was a simple, tasty way to celebrate--and paired with cheese muffins made with Beecher's Flagship Cheese, it was just filling enough to cap a day spent largely outside digging in the garden. Maybe one of these days we'll have organic asparagus of our own.
Garlicky Roasted Asparagus Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb asparagus, cut in 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 egg per serving
Preheat the oven to 400. Pour a little olive oil into a (cast iron) skillet, swirl to coat the bottom and set it in the oven to heat while you prepare the asparagus.
When the asparagus is sliced, pull the skillet out of the oven, add the asparagus, sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes, and quickly return it to the oven. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender and just beginning to brown in spots.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth, bring to a boil, cover and simmer until asparagus is done.
Over medium heat, stir roasted asparagus into soup. Taste and correct seasoning. Break eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl and slip into simmering soup; cover and poach for a couple of minutes, until eggs are as done as you like them.