Butter- 1 tbspn
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Germans go nuts over spargel. The previous statement is not an overrated one. It is 100% true. When I came to Germany my labmate got a bundle of spargel from one of her friend. Her face was shining more than usual and I am very curious to know what that white coloured bundle was. She told me it is spargel and it is called as asparagus in english. I asked her how she will prepare it. She said she will prepare soup out of it or just cook and eat them. This vegetable is available only during a particular time period (end of april to end of june) and they call this period as asparagus time or ''spargelzeit''. Every hotel in Germany will serve a special meal with spargel at this time.
Spargel come in green and white colour. The white ones are German's favourite. White asparagus are costly because of the enormous labour associated with its cultivation. The fields on which white asparagus is grown will be covered with a thick cover to prevent sun light entering the cultivation area. This totally prevents the photosynthesis and hence the white clour of the white-asparagus. The harvest of asparagus is also a time-consuming and labour-intensive process. It has to be harvested with hand. Because of all these reasons they also cost much. But nothing prevents Germans from enjoying this mild variety, nutty flavoured spargel.
The amino acid asparagine got its name from Asparagus officinalis since it is rich in it. It has no cholesterol and contains very less calories and sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium (Source : wikipedia).
I got this recipe from a German cookbook, which I borrowed from a friend ( Thank you Julia !!) . This is my first try and I should say the soup turned out to be several times yummy than the commercially available soup powder. Healthy, wholesome and very satisfying, one should definitely try this German delicacy.
Asparagus- one bundle (10-12 stalks)
Whole milk- one cup ( I substituted milk for cream)
Spring onions- 1 bunch
Refined wheat flour or maida- 2 tbspns
Butter- 1 tbspn
Butter- 1 tbspn
Salt and black pepper to taste
Wash and peel the asparagus. It has a thick outer sheath. With a peeler remove that outer sheath. Discard the bottom muddy and woody region too (1/2 inch). Now cut the asparagus into small pieces and boil them in water for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and save both the water and the cooked asparagus shoots. When the asparagus shoots cool down grind them to a smooth paste using a food processor. Now add the ground paste into the water in which asparagus was cooked and mix well. Take a pot and heat it. Melt the butter in it. Now add maida and fry it until it acquires a light brown colour. Add some minced spring onions too. When the flour becomes light brown add the asparagus mixture (ground asparagus in water). Add a cup of milk and bring it to a boil. Simmer the mixture for another 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. When serving garnish with freshly ground black pepper and minced spring onions. A rich and creamy asparagus soup will be ready to be relished.
Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Take care to romove the outer sheath and the bottom muddy shoot. If you do not remove the outer sheath properly the preparation acquires a bitter taste. Make it more creamy and not watery. Happy cooking !!!