Steamed asparagus spears are a true delight of spring. But you can make more out of asparagus than serving it up plain. This week’s Health-e-Recipe for Asparagus and Scallion Soup with Almonds is one delicious way to combine your spears with scallions, another spring vegetable, in a creamy soup topped with crunchy almonds.
Asparagus contains sulforaphane, the phytochemical in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. Plus it provides another compounds with cancer-fighting possibility: glutathione. It’s also an elegant way to get some vitamin A — 4 stalks provide 600 of the daily 700 IUs recommended for women (900 for men).
Look for firm, smooth, vivid green stalks with tight tips. Refrigerate them standing upright in a tall container with water and loosely covered with a plastic bag. Before cooking, gently bend each stalk until the woody end breaks off. Eat them hot from the steamer with lemon juice or drop them in boiling water for a minute to blanche, rinse with cold water, chop and toss them into a salad dressed with light vinaigrette.
You could also make an asparagus dip: puree 8 spears of steamed asparagus in the food processor, add a spritz of lemon juice and a tablespoon of reduced-fat sour cream, season with chili powder (or even a little salsa) and chopped scallions to taste and voila!