Lemon Asparagus Soup

I made this soup last week with some leftover asparagus ends and it turned out amazing! It is very flavorful and light. It can also be enjoyed cold if preferred during the summer. I was excited to include kale picked fresh from my garden in this recipe! Try to use local, fresh and organic ingredients when possible to optimize nutrient density and support your local community!

Lemon Asparagus Soup

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Soup

Equipment

  • large pot
  • wooden spoon
  • blender (I used my Vitamix but you can also use an immersion blender)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bunch asparagus diced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic pealed and smashed
  • 2 Tbsp butter substitute extra virgin olive oil for dairy-free option
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed, if possible
  • 1-2 kale leaves
  • pepper, freshly ground
  • sea salt
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated

Instructions
 

  • Melt butter in large pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and let sauté until soft and translucent.
  • In the meantime, cut off the tips of the asparagus to use later as garnish. Chop the ends up into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Once onions are soft, add chopped asparagus, broth, salt and pepper to pot. Let soup come to a boil, then turn down heat to let simmer and cover with a lid.
  • Cook vegetables until tender, about ~20 minutes.
  • **Once fully cooked, blend ingredients together until completely smooth.
  • Transfer soup back to pot. Add lemon juice and chopped kale and gently stir in. If you desire a thicker consistency, allow soup to simmer, uncovered, until desired consistency is reached.
  • Sauté asparagus tips in pan with some butter until tender.
  • Top soup with asparagus tips and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Enjoy!

Notes

**If using a regular blender (as oppose to an immersion blender) let soup cool for 5-10 minutes before blending, as blending hot ingredients can increase the internal pressure in the vessel, causing it to explode (yes, I am speaking from experience). 
Keyword asparagus, soup

Homemade Basil Pesto

Although the ingredients found in store-bought pesto tend to be fairly clean, nothing beats a homemade batch of the fresh stuff! I love being able to customize my pesto recipe as far as the types of nuts and seasonings I use. Basil is also an herb that is very easy to grow (even I haven’t killed mine) so I love making large batches when the basil is ready for harvest and freezing it for later use. This year we have multiple plants that have really flourished, so I have been using it in my salads, omelets and stir-frys as well.

Health Benefits of Basil

  1. It contains powerful antioxidants to fight free radical damage. Two particular antioxidants it contains, orientin and viceninare, help protect white blood cells responsible for immune function, as well as cellular structures where DNA is stored.
  2. Studies have demonstrated its ability to prevent and fight cancer by increasing antioxidant activity, positively changing gene expression, and inducing cancer cell death.
  3. It contains antibacterial properties effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
  4. Has adaptogenic properties to help individuals adapt to stress
  5. Reduces inflammation

I have found that pesto is a fairly versatile food. I love it on Banza chickpea pasta, spaghetti squash, sautéed vegetables, or even on my eggs!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 packed cups fresh basil
  • ½ cup raw almonds (I sometimes use a combination of nuts, such as almonds + pine nuts, depending on what’s available)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbs Romano cheese (optional)
  • Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add basil, garlic and cheese (if using) to a blender.
  2. Turn on blender and slowly add olive oil until it is your desired consistency.
  3. Add salt and any other additional items (ex. pepper, lemon squeeze) to taste.

*Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 9 months

Basil plant from my garden

Freezing Pesto

To freeze pesto, put a couple tablespoons in each compartment of an ice cube tray. When they are frozen, dump them into a larger container with a lid for easy storage in the freezer.

How do you like to use pesto? Share below!