This light, creamless soup makes a fantastic light lunch or starter. For a heartier meal add an ounce or two of crab or shrimp to the bottom of your bowl and pour soup on top. Enjoy.
- 1 ¾ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 small to medium Yukon Gold potato (about 5 ounces) peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of salt
- 12 ounces asparagus, woody ends removed, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place broth, water, potato, shallot, garlic, thyme and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus, return to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
Pour the soup into a large blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Season with pepper and a drizzle of good quality olive oil if desired.
Asparagus contains a phytochemical called saponins. Saponins have both anti-
inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol and improve blood pressure. Asparagus is also a natural source of inulin. Inulin is a type of dietary fibre that is not broken down until it reaches our large intestine. At that stage it can be used to nourish and stimulate our healthy bacteria, Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Having sufficient “friendly bacteria” in our gut helps keep our digestive system in balance, boosts our immune system and may help alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and lactose intolerance.