Really Simple Asparagus Soup

Really Simple Asparagus Soup
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 lbs asparagus
woody stems broken off, tips of twelve stalks cut off for garnish (as big as looks good to you), the rest cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 whole medium sized yellow onion
thinly sliced
1 pinch salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 whole medium baking potato
peeled and diced
1 cup hot vegetable stock
from above
1/2 tsp salt
1 half orange
squeezed into juice
A few months ago, I attended a Grand Round presentation by Dr. Sanford Warren from Santa Rosa Kaiser Permanente on a “plant-strong diet.” For some with significant cardiovascular issues, he recommended a strict low fat diet without meat or dairy. For most, he simply encouraged eating a plant strong diet as much as possible.

Eating this way allows magic to happen when you visit a farmers market. At the Ordway Building in downtown Oakland, Kaiser Permanente has started an all-organic farmers market on Wednesdays. The magic this week was seeing that the asparagus farmer was back for this season. I came home with a skinny bunch and a fat bunch — a total of about two pounds. The search for recipes began. I looked online and through a number cookbooks, settling on a modified version of the Fields of Greens cookbook asparagus soup.

I was curious to see if I could make a great creamy soup without any dairy. Well, try this. It is definitely possible.
Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan and simmer the woody asparagus stems for about 20 mins.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the onions until soft adding a pinch of salt and white pepper.
Add the potato and hot vegetable stock. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 mins.
Remove the stems and add to the soup pot the remaining stock and asparagus. Add salt. Simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes.
Purée the soup in a food processor or a blender, being certain to take the center out of the top to let the steam escape. Cover this with a kitchen towel to avoid splatters.
Stir in orange juice and season to taste with salt and white pepper.