Asparagus are a spring staple among the Amish. It’s a versatile vegetable that comes up early and annually if cultivated correctly. Here’s what The Amish Cook has to say about asparagus in our book, The Amish Cook at Home:
Another sure sign of spring is the green spears of asparagus poking through the thawing ground.
Just like rhubarb, asparagus will come up year after year in the same patch, so its arrival is always a signal that winter is through. Once you get an asparagus patch started it is pretty hard to get rid of. A lot of people mow theirs down in the fall, but I leave ours alone. I think it makes for stronger roots that will grow better in the spring. Most of our children like fresh asparagus when it is part of a casserole, for instance. If I just cook it and put cream over it, some of the children don’t care for it. But we usually make them taste something that they may not want to try, because sometimes they are surprised and really enjoy a new food. When I was a child there were things I didn’t eat that I do now.
I see a lot more asparagus grown here in Michigan. Mom never grew asparagus down in Indiana. She had everything else, but I don’t know why she didn’t grow asparagus. A lot of people stop and pick it where it grows wild along the roads around here.
Our family has several favorite ways to enjoy fresh asparagus.
And this is a bowl of the delicious soup, a photo snapped the other night at Lovina’s. The recipe is below. Enjoy!
HOMEMADE ASPARAGUS-POTATO SOUP
Serves 4 to 6
This is a thick soup. The color is light, like a cream sauce. I usually like to serve a fresh garden salad with it.
1 3/ 4 cups chicken broth
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 / 2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 / 3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 1 / 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Velveeta or Colby cheese (cubed or sliced)
Combine the broth, potatoes, asparagus, onion, and salt in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Whisk the milk and flour together well in a small bowl and whisk into the broth mixture. Stir in the cheese until melted. Pour into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately.
Variation: Lovina sometimes fries bacon strips and then crumbles them in with everything. You could also sprinkle the crumbled bacon over the top as a garnish.