There is nothing quite like making soup when you are snowed in. And we are.
We live on a small hill on a ridge above a river. The winds come whipping up from the river, creating a vortex halfway up the ridge. It drives the snow up to our house, where it collects in drifts in certain inconvenient places, below our retaining wall, in the middle of the sloping driveway, just below the side porch.
Just in case we are never able to leave the house — ever — again, I stocked up on supplies the other night. Another bundle or two of asparagus was among them.
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
3 cups homemade chicken or turkey stock
1 pound asparagus, tough ends discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces
rind from Parmesan cheese
dash fleur de sel
Melt butter in stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and celery and cook until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add flour and stir. Gradually add turkey or chicken stock. Bring mixture to boil. Add asparagus and simmer until asparagus is tender. Turn off heat to allow asparagus to cool. Remove asparagus with slotted spoon and purée in a blender or food processor. You may need to do this in batches. Return pureed asparagus to soup. Turn up the heat under the stockpot. Toss in cheese rind and allow this to flavor the soup for about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
I used a solid piece of Parmesan that had gone very hard, instead of a rind. Once it began to melt and impart some of its creaminess and flavor to the soup, I removed it and rinsed it off. I'll try to find another use for it. I read about this in a food magazine a few months ago.