Ingredients to gather: Feeds 2 as a lunch entree or 4 as an accompaniment.
8 Asparagus Spears
2 Spring Onions
1 Green Garlic stalks
1 Red or Yellow Onion
Few sprigs of fresh Dill
2 Tablespoons Butter (optional)
Couple dollops of Sour Cream
Grapeseed Oil (or oil of your choice, I prefer Grapeseed)
Salt and Pepper
Items from my CSA share:
Asparagus, Spring Onions, Green Garlic, Dill
Extra items I had in the pantry:
Red Onion, Shallot, Lemon
Step 1: Grilling the Asparagus
Cut the tough bottoms off the Asparagus
Place in dish or tray and drizzle generously with oil, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly to make sure each spear is well coated with oil. I use my hands, they are less damaging then tongs or other utensils and I can feel the oil distribution.
Heat grill to medium-high heat and place Asparagus on grill.
After a couple of minutes you will need to turn them by taking your tongs and rolling them over. No need to pick each one up just roll one or several at a time.
After a few more minutes pull them off the grill. Remember the small ones will cook faster so they are the first you should turn over and the first to be removed. The Asparagus should have some dark grill marks on them and they should have a little give but not be totally limp. The Asparagus will continue to cook for a little bit after pulling them off the heat. Make a few extra if you have them for hungry snackers...
Step 2: Preparing the Green Garlic and onions
Slice the ends off the Green Garlic and Spring Onions (I accidently deleted my green onion pic) and slice the lower white portion into coins. Set aside.
Slice the each end off the red onion.
Make a shallow slice across the onion (perpindicular to the ends that you just cut).
And peel the outer skin off the onion.
Cut the onion in half,
then in half again
Hold the two quarters together and slice beginning at the bottom closest to the cutting board and working to the mid point at the top. At this point move the cut onions away and turn the remaining quarters around and repeat until finished.
For the shallot cut the ends off and peel like the red onion but slice into coins similar to the green garlic.
Mix all onions together.
Step 3: Combining the ingredients
Place medium soup pot on the stove on medium heat or just above. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and a tablespoon of butter (or 2 Tbsp of oil and no butter) plus salt and pepper and sautee all the onions and the Green Garlic until soft and semi-translucent. While the onions are cooking follow the steps below...
chop the Asparagus, reserving a few tops for garnish.
Using a microplane (on my wish list) or the small grate on a hand grater, grate the entire lemon, then cut into quarter sections.
When the onions are softened add the chopped Asparagus and most of the lemon zest reserving some for garnish.
Squeeze the lemon wedges into the soup, if you want a less tangy soup use only half. I like mine tangy so I use it all. Be careful for the seeds. You may want to use a strainer just in case. I strain it through my fingers - in which case you will inevitably be reminded of some forgotten paper cut...
Step 4: Garnishing
Dill, sour cream, lemon zest
Mix sour cream, a little zest and about a teaspoon of lemon juice with a tablespoon or so of Dill until smooth and creamy. This is not a true creme fraiche, however the lemon adds a tanginess similar to that of creme fraiche.
Put creme fraiche in a squirt bottle (a ziploc bag with a very small section of the bottom corner cut out works as well) and zig zag the cream over the top of the soup.
Drag a toothpick or skewer over the cream in the opposite direction in order to create the design on the soup. Add the reserved Asparagus tips and sprinkle with any remaing zest.
Step 5: Eat, Savor, Nourish...