There’s a new trend picking up speed in the world of healthy eating – being a “locavore”. What’s that? Well, quite simply, it’s someone who only eats produce grown locally, when it’s in season. This effectively removes the need for produce to be lumbered half-way across the world, and locally produced food is usually focused on sustainable farming and organic methods. Plus, the fact of the matter is you’re probably getting more nutrients from locally produced food – the produce harvested down the road has spent less time in transit and thus retains more of those do-good nutrients.
So, what’s in season right now in the UK? Asparagus! Those little green spears are packed with goodness – vitamins, A, B and C, are basically fat free, and are brimming with fibre and folic acid. All these nutrients make the humble asparagus great for you: it helps your immune system fight infection, is thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease, and it’s even believed that it can contribute to cancer prevention. Pretty great for an asparagus, hey?
I popped over to Great Ellingham Norfolk to meet my old friend Andy Allen who owns Portwood Asparagus Farm. He grows acres of the green spears and it has literally hardly any food miles for me!
So, what can you do with all those tasty nutrients? Well, one great way to utilize this vegetable is to make asparagus soup!
- 500g British asparagus (locally grown, if you want to indulge your inner-locavore!) For soup the best grade is the lowest grade – that’s called Kitchen
- 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 50g butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 50ml double cream
- Salt and black pepper
- Chop the washed asparagus into short lengths.
- Then, melt the butter in a large saucepan to cook the onion and garlic. Do this for several minutes until tender, but without browning.
- Sprinkle the flour, salt and pepper into the pan, then stir and cook for two minutes.
- Add stock gradually and bring to the boil.
- Add those nutritional asparagus pieces before covering the pan and simmering over a moderate heat for 20 minutes, or until the asparagus is nice and tender.
- Puree in food processor or blender until quite smooth, then sieve.
- Before you serve, stir in the double cream and check the seasoning – and if you’re feeling decadent – add in a sprinkling of Parmesan!
- Serve piping hot with crusty bread
For more information about British Asparagus visit http://www.british-asparagus.co.uk/