We all have talents. Big talents, and minor ones.
One of my minor talents is the ability to remember what foods my friends and relatives don’t like or are allergic to, once they have been my guests. As minor talents go, this comes in pretty handy if you don’t want to end your dinners with unhappy guests, or an urgent visit to the ER.
My mother-in-law is allergic to kiwi, my friends Ingrid and Himilce are seriously allergic to shellfish, my sister dislikes herrings, and Aunt Ilana’s son Lucas and my brother-in-law Manuel share the same aversion to cheese, but tolerate it in pizza.
Aunt Ilana cringes in the presence of fish, my dad is not a fan of goat meat, my mom doesn’t like big shrimp, and my daughter only eats eggplants under threat. Uncle Rob utterly dislikes olives and anchovies, which is why I’ve been intending for a long time to give him a big jar of tapenade for his birthday.
Luckily my husband has few dislikes, and even the foods he eyes suspiciously he would at least try if I cooked them. For the longest time, he would avoid goat meat, that is until I cooked it. Turns out butchers would shatter the bones leaving dozens of tiny pieces that he would inadvertently bite on or swallow. And that’s what he hated.
Once I bought a whole leg, and boned it myself leaving nothing but lean meat, he was a convert.
But alas, the man has his kryptonite: cumin. Funny, cumin in Spanish is synonym with something of little import. He loathes, despises, dislikes, detests, abhors, and disdains this little seed.
He also hates it.
Just one seed would ruin a whole pot for him, so I don’t keep cumin at home. A shame really, cause I love cumin, and could put it in anything.
I’ve found asparagus often in the local supermarket and decided to make one of my favorite soups, seeing as my husband was away from home and the recipe called for cumin.
For such a simple dish, this cream of asparagus soup has a very complex taste, and it is very filling. Asparagus is one of my favorite ingredients, but up until now, it was rarely available in this tropical corner. It is now apparently grown locally. Hurrah.
Time to make the most of the short asparagus season to enjoy one of my favorite vegetables in a creamy soup that is simple, yet filling and full of complex flavors. I won’t be serving it to my husband though. His loss.
- 1/4 cup of chopped or sliced almonds (optional)
- 3 lb [1.2 kg] of green asparagus
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 tablespoons of dry onion flakes
- 3 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin , crushed
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 2 1/2 quarts [2.5 lt] of water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
Place the almonds in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook and stir until they become golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Chop the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Discard the lower ends.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over low heat.
Add asparagus, onion flakes, garlic, cumin and parsley. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally so everything cooks uniformly.
Remove the top tips and set aside for serving.
Add water to the pot. Remove from the heat.
Blend everything until very smooth.
Return to the heat and cook over medium heat until it reaches a rolling boil.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot, garnish with the asparagus tips and the almonds.
Low-carb eater? This is a pretty low-carb dish as veggie soups go, of course, bread is out of the question, it's a serving suggestion for people on non-low-carb diets.