Eating seasonally and locally is something we should all be making an effort to do more of. Two of the Roots co-founders come from a farming background. Understanding the passion and effort that goes into farming in the UK make the final produce so much more special. We can’t recommend more the benefit of finding a local seasonal veg supplier or using some of the brilliant online businesses like Abel + Cole or Riverford. We get our veg from our local farm shop. Also try Googling “local veg boxes” and see what comes up. Supporting local farmers and growers is something we all should try and do, but of course supermarkets are an amazing source for all veg. Just try and make sure it’s UK-grown if possible.
Right now, asparagus is in season, but not for much longer so enjoy it whilst you can! This wonder green veg has had links to many health benefits. It is low in calories and a great source of nutrients including fibre, folate and vitamins A, C and K. It also also possesses small amounts of other micronutrients including iron, zinc and riboflavin. Additionally, eating asparagus has a number of potential health benefits including weight loss, improved digestion, cancer benefits, healthy pregnancy outcomes and lower blood pressure.
As well as being good for you, it’s also delicious and a very versatile veg to cook with. Steamed for 5–6 mins with a fresh poached egg is a Roots favourite for a healthy lunch. Roasted in the oven with a piece of white fish, salmon or chicken is a delicious light dinner—even better when it’s dressed with fresh lemon juice and zest, mixed with oil and a little Manuka honey.
In this recipe we wanted to focus on using the whole product. The stalky ends of asparagus are usually cut off and thrown away. Using them in this simple soup is a good way of making the most of this delicious veg. Whilst we love a good creamy soup, adding a topping adds a new dimension and texture. We recommend doing this on all soups, even if it’s just a good drizzle of olive oil and herbs. Seeds are a great texture to add and provide additional nutritional benefits, or croutons if you’re wanting something with more bite. And of course, freshly ground black pepper, another must.
In this soup I wanted to add a texture but for it to still be all about the asparagus so I used it raw and very finally sliced, mixed with defrosted peas and lemon zest, olive oil and salt. Delicious!
This recipe makes two portions when served as a light lunch.
- ½ a leek diced or 1 small onion
- 2 x garlic gloves
- ½ bunch asparagus and any tips from other dishes left over roughly chopped
- 150g defrosted peas
- 400ml good vegetable/chicken stock (or bone broth)
- Small handful or fresh mint or parsley
- 4 fresh asparagus finally sliced (2 per person—add more if you like more crunch)
- 50g defrosted peas
- ½ tablespoon of best quality olive oil or rapeseed oil
- Lemon zest
- Small pinch of salt
- In a medium-sized pan, heat the oil. Once simmering and hot, add minced garlic, leeks or onion. Cook until fragrant and translucent on medium-low heat.
- Add asparagus and mix into fried veg.
- Add your stock or broth and bring to a boil. Roughly 400ml—we add enough just so veg is covered. If you like a thicker soup use sparingly.
- Once boiling, add peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add mint or herb of your choice.
- Transfer to blender. Puree on high speed until smooth.
- Return to pot and keep on low heat until ready to serve.
- Make the topping by thinly slicing asparagus and mixing it with lemon zest, peas and olive oil. Season to taste.
- Finish with coarse black pepper and serve.