We appreciate the early arrival of the 'queen of vegetables'. Often in conjunction with green
onions, we use it gently sauted with eggs, pasta or rice. On its own, roasted with butter and olive
oil, fresh asparagus is really welcomed after a long winter.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

2 lb fresh asparagus
1 1/2 T butter
2 C chopped onion
1 1/2 t salt
3 T flour
2 C water
2 C hot milk
2 t dill
1/2 t tarragon
white pepper to taste

1) Chop stalks into one inch pieces. Put tips aside.

2) Melt butter in a medium skillet. Add onion, asparagus stalks and salt. Saute for about 10 min
over medium heat. When onions are clear and soft, sprinkle in two T flour, while constantly
stirring. Continue to cook on lowest heat, stirring frequently for 5 - 8 min.

3) Add water, stirring constantly. Heat to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. After about 5 min,
sprinkle in the remaining 1 T flour, mixing well. Cook another 8 - 10 min, stirring frequently.

4) Puree the soup with the milk, bit by bit, in a blender. Return the puree to a large saucepan,
and season with dill, tarragon and white pepper.

5) Cut the reserved tips into small pieces. Add to the soup, heat very gently (don't cook or boil).

- Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook. Stacy uses this as the basis for soup when we have
asparagus. It yields up to five servings, so if you don't have 2lbs asparagus, it can be trimmed down to
what you have.

Salmon Spread

I used the recipe from the Farm to Folks Newsletter for rhubarb cream pie, but added two eggs,
cut the sugar to ¾ cup and the flour to one T and added vanilla.  It was delicious.  Here is how
we used the asparagus.  I made this following salmon spread from a recipe in the
Tribune, using
the green onions from the CSA.  Instead of crackers we had it on multigrain bread, with
parboiled chopped asparagus on top.  It was also very good and worth trying.  If I had a larger
group, I would stir the asparagus into the spread.

1 can (Alaska) red salmon, drained, skin and bones removed [save the liquid and add to spread
to make it more spreadable – and add more Omega 3 fatty acids (Neal’s addition)]
8 ounces cream cheese, softened  
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon grated onion
1 teaspoon horse radish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

Gently stir together and chill. Serve with crackers.

- Cornelia Butler Flora

Asparagus Kootu

1 medium red onion
2 tomatoes
2 cups asparagus
1/4 cup moong daal (if you type it in Google you can see it)
2 or 3 tbsp coconut
2 or 3 red chillies (depending on how spicy you want it)
2 tsp cumin
curry leaves for seasoning
1 or 2 tbsp oil

Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces.  Cook and keep aside. Cook the moong daal and keep aside.  
If you have a pressure cooker, you could just put both of them and cook it with salt to taste.
Cut the onions and tomatoes into thin slices about 1 inch long.

Heat a skillet. Add oil. Put in 1 tsp mustard seeds (optional) and the curry leaves.  Fry onions
till golden brown. then add the tomatoes and stir till tender.

Grind together coconut, red chillies and cumin. Add to the onion and tomatoes.  Let it cook for a
few minutes. Then add the cooked asparagus and moong dal to the skillet. Cook together for a
few minutes till the mixture thickens.

- From Ames member, Sumana. She says its quite good with as a side with tortilla or naan. Enjoy.