Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recipe: Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Wafer

This soup is tasty and low fat. Making a roux (flour, butter and milk) makes the soup smooth and rich without the calories of cream. You can have the parmesan wafer on the side or in the soup.

3 cups (1/2-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, divided
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup of grated parmesan

Combine asparagus, broth, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, bay leaf, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Place asparagus mixture in a blender; process until smooth.

Place 1 teaspoon of butter in a pan. Add flour. Gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add puréed asparagus and ground nutmeg and stir. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon butter, salt, and lemon rind. Season with pepper.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Shred 1/4 cup of parmesan on a large grater. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon into a circle on a baking sheet (you should have 4 circles). Bake for 5 minutes or just until melted. Let cool on a cooling rack. Gently remove with a spatula and serve with soup.

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