Creamy Asparagus Soup

For those of you who follow regularly, you might be a bit confused just by the title of this post. Creamy soup? What is she doing? I thought Amber was lactose-sensitive?

Well, turns out I can have milk… I just had to shop around for the right type! How exciting is that?!

I still can’t have most dairy. I still have to be careful when eating out, asking if and how much dairy is in a dish. I still have to politely decline milk products when visiting friends. But, when I cook at home… I can have as much as I want! I’ve been enjoying a glass of milk with my breakfast every morning… just because I can. Seriously, I didn’t realize how much I missed copious amounts of dairy in my diet until I found a way to enjoy it again.

Guernsey cows — the blurry one was trying to lick me as I took the picture!

(This is yet another post that was a long time in the making… I started drinking milk again in late February and have been cooking with it regularly since about April.)

So, what makes this milk different? It comes from a different breed of cow: the Guernsey (most milk comes from Holstein cows), and it is A2 grade (most milk is A1). The Bovine‘s article “Mercola advocates raw milk, discusses A1 A2 beta casein in connection with autism, diabetes, heart disease, etc.” gives a good explanation of the differences between A1 and A2 cows:

The type of proteins in milk, and the proportion of various proteins, varies depending on the breed of cow and the type of animal (sheep, goat, cow, etc.).

One of the major proteins in cow’s milk is casein, the predominant variety of which is called beta-casein. In older breeds of cows, such as Jersey, Asian and African cows (called A2 cows), the beta-casein contains an amino acid called proline.

In newer breeds of cows like Holstein (A1 cows), however, the proline has mutated into an amino acid called histidine.

[T]he proline that exists in A2 cows has a strong bond to BCM-7, which helps keep it out of the cows’ milk. The histidine in the newer A1 cows, however, has a weak hold on BCM-7, which allows it to get into the milk, and also into the people who drink the milk.”

Guernsey Cow

Back in February, I visited an A2 Guernsey cow farm. The farmers showed me around, explained their product, and shared delicious samples with me. They even insisted I wait around for at least 1/2 an hour so I would be somewhere comfortable if I had a negative reaction. So kind of them! After a wonderful experience, I signed up to buy a share in the herd of cows. I now get my milk straight from the farm. (Which I LOVE visiting… the cows are docile and let me pet them, the farm dog is friendly and always greets me enthusiastically, a few of the barn cats are friendly, and I love to look at the gorgeous horses) The benefit? I enjoy dairy and no longer fear the consequences of accidentally eating a bit too much. I am confident that I will not be ill when consuming milk products.

Sylvester the Barn Cat — this handsome little guy LOVE attention (and the camera)

I’m excited to make and share family recipes that I had given up for the last 10 years or so! 😀 Today I’m sharing my family’s Creamy Asparagus Soup recipe.

And I’m going to share a little secret… we usually make this with the “scrap” pieces of asparagus. That is, when we cook asparagus, we save the ends that we snap off for this soup. I like to buy an extra small bunch of asparagus so we can reserve a few spears to make a pretty garnish. However, this is not necessary if you don’t like a smooth soup. This is a great way to use up something that would otherwise go to waste.

Please, please, please share any great recipes you have that use a large amount of dairy products. I’m so used to cooking without milk, I find it hard to come up with anything but soups. I need more ideas of delicious milk-based foods that I can now enjoy without worry!

Creamy Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken broth – approximate cost $1.25
  • 4 cups asparagus pieces, spears reserved – approximate cost $2.50
  • 2 cups whole milk – approximate cost $2.66
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10

Method

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Add the asparagus pieces (reserve the spears if you would like to use them to decorate your soup later).
  3. Cook the asparagus in the broth for 7-10 minutes (the broth should reduce by about half and the asparagus will be very tender).
  4. Allow the asparagus and broth to cook slightly.
  5. Move asparagus and broth to a blender and add half of the milk (1 cup).
    1. Note: An immersion blender is not ideal for this soup because you will need to strain it.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Pour the asparagus through a fine strainer back into the soup pot.
  8. Press the asparagus gently to help release the liquid from the tough pieces. Be patient, this can take a while!
  9. Discard the pieces in the strainer.
  10. Turn the burner on medium-low.
  11. Add the remainder of the milk (1 cup), sea salt, and black pepper.
  12. If you reserved any asparagus spears, add them now!
  13. Cook the soup until it is steaming.
  14. Serve hot with crostini pieces or your favourite sandwich.

Makes 2 large servings (approximate cost: $3.28 per serving).

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21 Comments

  1. I’ve always found asparagus to be quite intimidating…I don’t know perhaps the long name for a veggie, but you have made it so easy with this recipe that I might just give it a try! Beautiful pictures too! Thank You for sharing it at the Fluster Buster Party, Have a great weekend! Lizy Party Co Host

    Reply
    • Thanks Lizy! Another great way to enjoy asparagus is pan fried with some garlic and butter. Yum!

      Reply
  2. Yay for some dairy products! I would be some sad lady if I couldn’t indulge in some dairy. Your soup looks fantastic!

    Reply
    • Thanks Mel! I didn’t realize how much I missed it… But could never give it up again!

      Reply
  3. mjskit

     /  June 1, 2013

    I’m so glad you found the solution to your milk intolerance! I couldn’t live without milk and I know that because I too have tried. Your asparagus soups looks delicious – all creamy and that extra pepper on top – yum! I can tell that you love your cracked pepper too! 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks MJ! I wonder now how I lived without it for so long. Just the thought of store-bought rice, soy, and almond milks makes me cringe just a bit.

      Reply
  4. This sounds delicious, especially when topped with that black pepper. Yum!

    Reply
    • Thanks! Yes, the black pepper is fantastic! However, my family uses a little less than I do.

      Reply
  5. Love asparagus! I’ve had it many different ways but never in a soup. Thanks for sharing on Fluster’s Creative Muster Party.

    Robin
    Fluster Buster

    Reply
  6. What a fantastic post! Dairy tears me up too, but I haven’t experimented with milk from different cows. Maybe I’ll give it another shot!

    Reply
    • Thanks! I was quite nervous to try it at all. I made sure to clear my day just in case of a negative reaction. I will also point out that the milk I settled with is organic.

      Reply
  7. How fortunate that you’ve discovered this, you must be elated. The soup looks lovely, although a touch too much pepper for my taste.

    Reply
    • Thanks Eva, I am! No more soy milk for me… ever! I could never get used to it.

      My family agrees with you that I’m a bit heavy on the pepper. It’s great even with less or no pepper at all!

      Reply
  8. I’ve never had an asparagus soup before, but this looks so darn filling and wonderful. Wonderful recipe.

    Reply
  9. Hi Amber!
    Very interesting post! That might explain why in Europe and India I haven’t met anybody yet who is lactose intolerant. It’s quite rare in the country side from where I come from and we have jersey cow types in Austria. In India we have smaller cows so I suspect that they are Asian cows, although it might be that the milk comes from a new cow generation, but then they make the milk thinner with water.

    So if I understood that correctly then you are allergic to a mutated histidine? I always thought histidine is one of the essential amino acids.

    anyway… your creamy asparagus soup is tempting me and once again I wished I wasn’t missing out on this wonderful vegetable. That’s a good amount of pepper, kind of my style. =D

    Reply
  10. Hi Helene,

    Based on what I’ve read in various online articles about the differences in milk… yes, it sounds like I’m allergic to a mutated histidine. However, I’ve never had a formal allergy test, so I cannot say for sure. My tolerances and intolerances have been discovered through trial and error.

    Glad you like my soup!

    Reply
  11. A lovely & appetizing green asparagus soup! It looks freaking delicious, Amber! yum Yuim Yum!

    Reply
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