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All about asparagus

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By Susan Lowery

It is hard work establishing a good asparagus bed, but the good thing is you only have to do it once. I've been picking asparagus every spring since 1991, and always get a good crop. As an added bonus, the birds spread the seeds all over the place, and soon you have volunteer plants. When the ferns are visible with their red seeds, make yourself a map so you'll know where to look when next April comes around.

These two recipes are my stand-by favorite recipes for asparagus. This Roasted Asparagus is almost the only way I fix it. It is absolutely delicious, and about as easy as you can get. My girls love it fixed this way. Stevie said she could eat it every night!

The Cream of Asparagus Soup is also quite easy, and it is a very tasty light lunch or supper. Give it a try!

Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed of woody ends

2-4 T. olive oil

Salt, pepper

Put olive oil in shallow casserole (big enough so all spears can be in one layer) then put asparagus in and turn all spears so they are coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or till tender and turning slightly brownish and wrinkled. Serves 4.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into small pieces

6 c. chicken broth

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 c. chopped celery

3 T. butter

3 T. flour

1/4 c. sour cream

1/4 c. milk

1/4 c. white wine

Salt, white pepper to taste

In large saucepan, simmer asparagus, chicken broth, onions and celery for 30 minutes or till tender. Puree in blender and set aside. Melt butter in small skillet; stir in flour till blended. Slowly stir in sour cream, milk and wine. (If you don't have wine, use more milk.) Add asparagus mixture. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Simmer over very low heat till heated through well and just slightly thickened. Serves 6-8.