Asparagus, a tender and crisp spring vegetable, is a member of the lily family. It is delicious blanched, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried or roasted. It’s flavour balances very well with mushrooms or garlic and lemon. Asparagus tastes amazing in an omelet. Add it to this Mushroom and Thyme Omelet. It also tastes great in salad or a pasta dish along with rosemary, tarragon or thyme, And of course it pairs beautifully with spinach in this creamy and rich Asparagus and Spinach Soup.
If your first introduction to asparagus was canned asparagus tucked into cream cheese and mayo filled white bread roll-ups with the crusts cut off, let me be the one to say I know the experience, feel your pain, and I’m so sorry that happened to you. It may have been the experience that led you to believe that you don’t like asparagus but trust me when I tell you that fresh asparagus tastes nothing like that. If you’re not convinced, this Asparagus and Spinach Soup, packed with B vitamins and antioxidants will help change your mind while it boosts your mood.
Health benefits of asparagus
- contains enzymes that help to regulate kidney function
- is an excellent source of folate, which helps decrease symptoms of depression, supports immune health, and helps to protect against heart disease
- is a good source of B vitamins for cell metabolism, energy and nervous system health
- contains the prebiotic insulin to promote friendly gut bacteria and improve immune system defence
- one cup of asparagus provides over 100% recommended daily intake of vitamin K, which is important for bone metabolism, blood clotting and regulating blood calcium
- is a rich source of antioxidants that help to reduce oxidative stress in the body and brain and help to prevent cancer
- is a good source of choline, which is required for the production of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for mood, memory and other nervous system functions
What is that smell?
Do you love asparagus but not the reminders of its consumption from that distinct odor when you go to the bathroom? Stinky pee is very common after eating asparagus, but not universal. Asparagus contains asparagusic acid and volatile organic compounds which produce ammonia and sulphur containing compounds. There are variations in both the production of the odorants and the perception of the odor. The production of metabolites that create the odor may not even be linked to the ability to detect the odor. It’s just another example of bio individuality in that some of us have the enzymes to produce and detect the odor while others may not. What is important to note is that the odor is completely harmless, so don’t panic if you happen to be one of the producers and detectors.
Let’s get cooking!
Let’s remember that asparagus is a delicious spring vegetable that is loaded with nutrition and versatility. Check out The Spruce Eats for a round-up of 19 asparagus recipes, but in the meantime, it’s time to make Asparagus and Spinach Soup.
Asparagus and Spinach Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1 potato diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 avocado
- 4 cups spinach loosely packed
- Heat oil in medium pot. Sauté onions in oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Snap off woody stems from asparagus and cut the spears into pieces.
- Add asparagus, diced potato, vegetable broth and salt to the pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is soft and asparagus spears are still green, about 10 minutes.
- Add avocado and spinach and stir to wilt spinach.
- Puree soup using and immersion blender. Alternately, use a regular blender and blend in two batches. Be sure to let steam escape while blending.
- Return to pot. Season with salt and pepper.