Vegan Asparagus & Watercress Soup

The trees outside my living room window are frosted with bits of ice and snow, but the calendar says that it's officially spring and I think that's what really matters.

I'm ready for it. I'm ready for the flowers to start shooting out of the ground, and for tiny green buds to perk out of tree branches. I love my winter coat (I got a really great one this year), but I will love tucking it away in the closet even more.

We spent several days in New Orleans earlier this month, and I'm off to Miami in a couple weeks, and it's like my mind has just totally shifted. I've been buying spring dresses and new shoes and gravitating toward everything pink and light and sunny.

This soup is my way of capturing that feeling in a bowl. Asparagus (the ultimate spring-y thing, in my opinion) is sauteed lightly with garlic and onion, then pureed until smooth in a bit of broth. Bunches of fresh peppery watercress add to the color and flavor. It's thin, but still creamy (and vegan, to boot), and makes the perfect starter for brunch or lunch. This with a sandwich on the side, or topped off with something like pulled chicken or cooked ham would make for a filling afternoon meal.


A really good blender like a Vitamix or Ninja will make this a breeze, but if you just have a classic one, that's fine, too. Just let it blitz an extra minute or two longer than you typically would.

Leftovers will keep well in a mason jar in the fridge for a few days, and I actually found it's quite lovely served chilled, too, if you prefer.


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Asparagus & Watercress Soup
Serves 4-6
Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large bunch fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups fresh watercress
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions
Heat olive oil in a large pot and add garlic and onions, sauteing for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the asparagus and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the water or broth, and lemon juice, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes before transferring to a blender. Add the watercress and puree until smooth. (Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to do this in batches.)

Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.




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