I love heavy cream, but a small voice in my head occasionally reminds me that it’s not the healthiest choice. Of course, most of the time I suppress that voice, but I was still very excited to find that this soup is a healthy alternative. Just like the Cilantro Lime White Bean Soup I shared with y’all, the cannellini beans achieve a creaminess that totally tricks the palate. You’re eating heavy cream, say my taste buds, immersed in gustatory pleasures untold. But they don’t realize . . . that I’m not.
I love pulling the wool over the eyes of my tongue.
Anyway, this healthy, creamy, easy-t0-make soup is fabulous. And it’s topped with bacon, so the men in our lives will accept it more readily.
2 TBS butter
1 medium onion
2 lb asparagus
1 14 oz can white beans (cannellini)
6 cups chicken stock
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/3 cup Greek yoghurt
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lb bacon
Chop up the onion. Since everything will be pureed, don’t worry about making the dice pretty–rough is fine.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and add the chopped onion.
Cook 4-5 minutes until softened.
While the onion cooks, chop up the asparagus, discarding the tough ends . . .
. . . and reserving the tips.
Grab the chopped stalks:
and dump them in the pot with the onion.
I always cringe a little when I use the word ‘dump’ in my cooking instructions. But ‘put’ is too bland, and ‘deposit’ or ‘plunk’ make me think of certain ‘deposits’ left by certain furry creatures in certain litter boxes. There must be another word. Throw? Fling? Hurl? Oooh, how about ‘lob’? Lob the minced garlic into the pot. Or is it ‘lob the minced garlic at the pot’? Either way, I like it. I could really get into lobbing things at other things. Thank you, virtual Thesaurus.
Back to the instructions: saute the asparagus for about 5 minutes until bright green and tender.
Add the drained can of white beans . . .
. . . chicken stock . . .
. . . and cayenne . . .
. . . and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
Dang it, there was no opportunity to lob anything with those pourable ingredients.
In the meantime, chop the bacon into smallish chunks.
Saute it over medium heat until browned and crisp.
A few minutes before the bacon is done, add the asparagus tips to the pan and cook, still over medium heat, for about 3 minutes.
Remove the bacon and tips to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess grease.
Once the soup is done simmering, puree it with an immersion blender until it’s smooth.
Add the Greek yoghurt . . .
. . . and puree it again. Add salt and pepper to taste:
Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, also to taste.
I used half the lemon and that was just about right.
Serve the soup topped with the bacon and asparagus tips.
It’s creamy . . . but healthy.
I love how ‘creamy’ and ‘healthy’ are no longer contradictory terms in my kitchen.
I made my taste buds very happy that evening.
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