YIELD: 6 (1 cup) servings
No-stick cooking spray, olive oil, or water
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups water (divided use)
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 small potato, peeled and cubed
1 Tablespoon vegetarian chicken-style seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 (12.3-ounce) package soft or firm silken-style tofu, drained
Dash pepper (optional)
Garnish and Accompaniments (optional):
Sliced whole green onions or chives
Garlic Croutons or Oyster (small saltine-type) crackers
Lightly spray the bottom of a medium saucepan with no-stick cooking spray, or drizzle with a few drops of olive oil or water, then brush to spread.
Sauté the onion over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the asparagus and potato:
--Wash the asparagus thoroughly by swishing it vigorously in a sink of cold water, then rinsing well to remove any sand.
--Break off and discard any woody ends. To do this, grasp the tip end of the asparagus about halfway down the stalk with your left hand and the bottom 1/2-inch of the root end with your right thumb and forefinger, then briskly bend the stalk, bringing the two ends together. The stalk will naturally break at the point where the woody portion of the stalk ends and the tender portion begins. Discard the woody part, held in your right hand. If you’re “lucky”, most of the woody ends will be quite short. Unfortunately, the bottom one third to one half is sometimes tough and must be discarded.
--Cut off the asparagus tips (about the top 2 inches of each stalk) and and put in a separate, small saucepan; set aside.
--Slice the remaining stalks into 2-inch lengths. Add to the sautéed onions in the medium saucepan.
--Peel and cube the potato, then add to the sautéed onions.
To the medium saucepan with the sautéed onions, asparagus stalks and potatoes, add 2 1/2 cups of the water, chicken-style seasoning, onion powder, and salt.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the asparagus stalks and potato are tender.
About 5 minutes before the asparagus stalks and potatoes are done, add the remaining 1/2 cup water to the asparagus tips in the small saucepan.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and boil gently for 5 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, if available, an immersion blender can be used right in the medium saucepan for this step. Otherwise, transfer the contents of the medium saucepan to a blender. Add the tofu to the saucepan or blender, then blend until smooth.
Add the asparagus tips and water, then pulse on and off until the asparagus tips are coarsely chopped, but not puréed.
If necessary, return the soup to the saucepan.
Heat over medium heat just until steaming hot, stirring often.
Turn off the heat or take the saucepan off the stove. (Don’t cook at high temperatures or for a prolonged period of time after adding the tofu).
Season to taste with nutmeg, pepper (if using), and additional salt, if needed.
Serve soup with croutons or crackers if desired.
Recipe by LuAnn Bermeo; from her cookbook. Amazing Meals, volume II. (The instructions above have been reformatted for KRT; personally, I think they are a little clearer in the book, where they appear in numbered steps).