Instead of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with pitchers of green beer (that is sooo 2009), we’re taking a healthier approach to this shamrock-filled holiday with a healthy recipe for green soup by Linda LaRue. Linda is the creator of Crunchless Abs and the new, constant resistance, 3-dimensional workout, The CORE TRANSFORMER.
I begin to believe spring is finally here when I start seeing asparagus being sold at my local Sunday farmer’s market. Asparagus is the quintessential spring vegetable, as it’s one of the earliest spring/summer vegetables to emerge from the cold winter ground and because of its vibrantly green stalk.
This recipe is my healthy, low-fat Ina Garten adaption from my SOUPer Slim Diet ebook. (And yes, you can preserve yumminess without adding a stick of butter to every recipe!) For this recipe, I recommend using a good quality Parmesan cheese such as aged Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Roasted Asparagus with Grated Parmesan Spring Soup
2½ lbs fresh asparagus (about 30 large) (you may substitute frozen asparagus)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ c good quality Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
4¼ c water or low-sodium, nonfat chicken or vegetable broth
2 thoroughly washed medium leeks or 1 medium onion, chopped
2 c watercress (may substitute 1 c of arugula or dark-green baby lettuce), chopped
¼ c flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut asparagus stalks to remove the fibrous ends. You can do this by holding a stalk and gently breaking it. It will break naturally where the stalk is no longer tough. If the stalks are thick, peel the bottom half of each. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and then drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
3. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute. Take asparagus out of oven and let cool for a few minutes, then dice.
4. Meanwhile, slice white ends of leeks (or diced onion) and sauté in 1 teaspoon of olive oil until light golden brown.
5. Place hot asparagus, water or broth, watercress, parsley, sautéed leek (or onion), and water in blender or food processor. Puree to your desired consistency or puree in a large bowl with an immersion blender.
This entire recipe makes 10 one-cup servings of greeny goodness. Each serving has 64 calories, 2 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 161 milligrams sodium. And it stores well in the fridge for up to one week. How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? —Linda LaRue