Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The last asparagus of the season...

I know you can find asparagus all year long at the grocery store, but the real season for asparagus just ended. To honor this sad occasion I made one of my favorite asparagus soups. My other favorite is a creamy puree, but this keeps the asparagus in bite sized pieces - and you must use the tender skinny stalks. It's simple and let's the asparagus shine through.

Minestrina of Asparagus and Rice serves 4

about 1 and 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, cut the tough ends off and then cut the remaining into 3 pieces
tablespoon butter
tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion finely chopped
couple slices prosciutto diced
teaspoon tomato paste
3-4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup arborio rice (italian risotto short grain)

Saute the onion in the butter and oil until soft. Add the prosciutto and cook a couple min. more then add the tomato paste and cook another min. Add the asparagus and about 1 1/2 cups of the stock and cook for 2 min or until they are just barely cooked. In another pan put the rice and about 2 cups of broth and cook on low heat until the rice is done - about 20 min, stirring occasionally. When the rice is done add it to the soup and warm it slightly.

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