tending to my small backyard garden makes me super happy. it's a feeling i can't really explain. it challenges me, makes me think, forces me to get out of the apartment (especially on super busy days), and even in frustrating times i learn something. one of the first things i do in the morning is to check out what's growing, what critters are crawling around, if there are any birds in our new birdhouse - it's like a whole little ecosystem right outside our bedroom door. the same goes for my mom's garden which (before i moved out) i would help her tend to. when frank and i go up there on weekends, i bolt for the garden and peek at what's popping up. her rhubarb bushel and lemon verbena patches are getting so big, so we're planning to make a rhubarb pie for memorial day - but right now, when asparagus spears are shooting up, and chive, and other veg blossoms are blooming is my absolute favorite time. i will never ever tire of the various shades of spring green, or light purples, and vibrant yellows. every year they make my eyes totally sing.
this soup recipe was really created based on what's freshly available at the market, in my backyard, and (importantly) what this babe and i want to eat. this is a simple soup that really comes together quite fast. since there's no starchy potatoes involved the cook time is relatively fast - which is awesome! so what's the creamy base in this soup, you ask? TAHINI! when i was in LA the other week i saw a bottle of Soom tahini at my favorite little spot, Cookbook, and grabbed a bottle. since i came back i've been thinking up ways to use it aside from my weekly prep of tahini-yogurt sauce, or hummus. i really wanted the nutty flavor to shine. and shine it totally does. the soup is sturdy, light, and frothy, with just enough asparagus flavor, and hints of lemon-y tang. frank and i ate 2 mega servings the other night, and it's (for real) my new favorite soup. even the baby was moving around a whole lot, which i'm taking as an indicator that he's super into the soup as well! (also, in the notes below i have a mini list of my go-to tahini brands with links if you're interested.)
big spring hugs, all! xo
creamy tahini & lemon-asparagus soup | v
i use tahini pretty often in soup and i've found that the quality really matters both for the texture of the soup and the flavor. my favorite brand so far is Soom tahini which i found at a small shop, but is also sold here. some other brands i love are Roland, Al Wadi, and also 365 Whole Foods brand which is sold at Whole Foods but can also be found here. and i'm not sure about you, but i used to store my tahini in the fridge until i was told by a shop owner to store it at room temp and to just give it a good shake before using - i've never looked back.
| makes 2 large servings or 4 small |
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch spring onions, chopped (roughly 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 lb. asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or filtered water)
- 1/4 cup fresh chives
- 2 2-inch pieces lemon peels
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- sea salt & fresh pepper
- asparagus ribbons
- chive flowers
- pea tendrils or baby greens
- tahini paste
- heat a large soup pot over medium heat. once hot, add the olive oil and onion, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, until soft and translucent. add the garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds. add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute, then add the broth (or water), chives, and lemon peels. bring soup to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 10-15 minutes. remove soup from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
- carefully transfer soup to an upright blender, add the tahini paste and lemon juice. blend on high for 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. taste and adjust salt and/or lemon juice.
- return the soup back to the soup pot and bring to a simmer. garnish and serve hot.