Asparagus Soup question

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Feb 16, 2013
Waterdown, Ontario
When a recipe calls for 2 bunches of Asparagus - I had to look up how asparagus is sold. Well, commonly it can be in 1.5 to 2.5 lb. bundles. That, to me is a huge difference!
My question is if you were to read this recipe what would you consider "2 bunches".
I ask because, to me that is a whole pound difference and I think, aside from price (sort of a big factor too), would it not change the overall flavour?
That's why I hate recipes that are written that way.
Yup, really.

But, I don't mind that on one of my Danish recipe sites. When one of their recipes has amounts written like that, you can almost always hover your cursor over the amount and small window pops up with the average size or weight for the ingredient in Denmark. You even see that for stuff like eggs.
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By me, the bundles are about a pound each. So I probably would have used 2 of the, ( 2 lbs in total). I made a very similar soup in the past. The only thing I did in addition was add some parmesan cheese.
Yup, medtran I agree. And I think "The Spruce Eats" is really bad for that. Worst part is that the original recipe is John Mitzewich! (who I believe is Chef John, no?)

taxy, didn't try that, I'll go back and see if it works!

Thanks Larry, I was actually sort of leaning that way...
Yup, medtran I agree. And I think "The Spruce Eats" is really bad for that. Worst part is that the original recipe is John Mitzewich! (who I believe is Chef John, no?)

taxy, didn't try that, I'll go back and see if it works!

Thanks Larry, I was actually sort of leaning that way...
Yup, that's Chef John. There is even a piece about him on Wikipedia.

I never thought of trying the hover trick on any other recipe site. I hope it works. But, I only noticed it on that Danish site because, all the ingredients that have the pop up window, are underlined, like a link.
Hi Dragnlaw,

You know more about cooking than you think you do!

I really, really wish I could somehow help people to flip the switch on how they look at a cooking recipe, not a baking recipe though. Any soup, or stew, recipe is a shopping list and starting point only. I do not believe there is any step of that recipe, you don't know how to do already. I bet you already know that some Asparagus is more woody than others. I bet you have used a stick blender.

When I looked at that Spruce recipe, all I saw was-

Cook a veg. in water/stock, till soft, puree it with stick blender and finish with cream. That's it.

You already know how to -

Saute garlic without burning it
Cook veg in liquid until soft
Puree cooked veg.with stick blender
Add cream to something

Everything else like flavor that is up to the cook. What flavors does the cook like? If you love tarragon, add it! Low fat version uses skim milk and no butter. I would add a med. onion because I like that veg. with Asparagus and it will puree just fine and disappear anyway but adds a little sweetness and make it a tiny bit thicker.

You can make a similar soup using two pounds of either, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Frozen Peas, Frozen Corn, Pumpkin, Squash, Mushrooms, etc. to 1 quart stock. Cook till soft, puree, finish with cream....You can double or triple the garlic or eliminate it. Add an onion, or not...

*** Cool trick for cream soups! If you have two cream soups about the same thickness, Using either two ladles or two pitchers, fill the soup bowls by pouring at the same time, side by side, the two soups will stay on their half of the bowl! (They can't be too thin though.) This works even with Campbells Tomato and Cheddar soups. Red half, orange half. A fairly cheap experiment to prove it to yourself.

Blanch tips by setting the tips in a strainer that is partly submerged in the stock, when cooking the part you will puree, I want the flavor. Wish they would have said that in the recipe.... Recipes.......

To actually answer your question, yes, more Asparagus will have an impact on flavor and texture. Positive impact to me as there is just more Asparagus, so more Asparagus flavor and more fiber making the soup a little thicker which I prefer anyway.

I know there are things you make without a recipe. This can be done with this recipe if it can make sense to you.

If I locked you in a kitchen with those ingredients on the table, all equip. was available, except measuring devices and forced you to make Asparagus soup at gunpoint, ha ha, I guess, since I am an American and all Americans have guns. (Ha Ha since I don't have a gun.) The soup you would make, with NO recipe, NO measuring spoons or cups would still be delicious. I know this in my heart to be true! You would not be here as long as you have without knowing much more than a few things about cooking and seasoning.

I just wish you trusted yourself and your abilities as much as I do...

I await a tongue lashing if desired...
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Well, it's nice to have an idea of quantities, so you can have a better idea of how many people it will feed. Unless it looks outrageous, it's nice to try the recipe as written at least once. If not, you can't blame the recipe.
Yeah, bunches do vary and it can vary a lot in weight.

It's a basic soup and in that particular recipe to make it easier, just add your trimmed asparagus, keep some of the tips for garnish and add to your melted butter and garlic. Then add enough chicken stock to cook the asparagus. I suggest using a blender it just makes it more luscious with a smoother mouthfeel, but that's just my opinion, use a stick if that's what you have. Anyway now you can make further adjustments to thickness or/and preferred tastes with adding more stock or cream or both.

I do have to say I'm quite familiar with that type of asparagus soup where using chicken stock, garlic and cream is very popular but personally it takes away from the delicacy and the earthy nuances that are it's essential qualities and I try to replicate the taste of asparagus from one growing under my feet and devouring it then and there.

I sweat the asparagus in butter for 5 or 10 minutes then add water and only water and cook until I'm happy with doneness, in a blender where I add a handful or 2 of baby spinach for color, it adds little to no flavour. I generally garnish with some blanched asparagus tips, a dusting or parmigiana and a drizzle of a good EVOO. It's cheaper and I believe is a more asparagustic offering, but this of course is just my opinion, lets face it people love cream and garlic. :)
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Talking about asparagus, I made asparagus risotto yesterday (posted in dinner thread). I just used half a bundle, freezed the rest (only for me and my daughter, my son hates rice, he's a pasta freak!) Firstly, I sautéed them with onions and a little vegetable stock, in a small frying pan, then I added them "half way through the cooking time" of my risotto which was cooking in another pan. I had previously blended a portion of the asparagus to give a creamy effect to the risotto. Then added the usual butter and parmesan to "mantecare" (can't think of the translation🤔, at the moment).

We have lots of wild asparagus growing in our areas (Southern Italy). Just down the road from us, if you go for a walk in the woods, you can find them. I used to go with my husband, at least three or four times during the Spring, how I miss those fun days together. Luckily my son has this passion of searching for wild stuff in the woodlands (asparagus in Spring, porcini in Autumn) ). He brought me back a little bunch of asparagus a couple of weeks ago and I made an omelette with them. Delicious. He loved it too this time, as no rice used 😅!
Thank you guys, terrific input.
SGM, you are right, you did not tell me anything I didn't already know, except suggested quantity for this particular recipe.
taxy, yup, that's why I asked - great minds think alike.
pictonguy, that's why this recipe interested me due to the few simple ingredients. Thanks. Think I'll use what ever one bundle is and adjust the rest for maximum flavour. (like the spinach idea)
Meryl, ooh lovely! Asparagus risotto! - as soon as I allow myself a few more carbs - that will be one of them! Sounds like it must be lovely to find it wild! Wow!
I would likely follow the recipe to the point of blending. Then add the broth until I had the consistency near where I wanted prior to adding the cream. If the garlic was wanted in the purée, skim the broth off and add.

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