Adding some spargel to life

White asparagus at Stuttgart markets

Asparagus is a very big deal around here at the moment. It’s a local specialty, growing happily in the sandy soil. No restaurant would be caught without spargel on their menu, markets stalls are brimming and Spargelfests are ensuing. I recently saw a queue at least twenty people deep for some spears being dealt from a stack of wooden boxes. I have no idea what made these spears so special (of course I still felt compelled to join the queue). But it’s not the usual green stuff that has everyone going wild, it’s the chubby, pearly stalks that have never seen the sun. To grow these pale, delicate shafts that are so highly prized, soil is heaped on top of any shoot that dares poke its head out of the ground. The season only lasts a few weeks, ending unofficially on June 24th. I’ve heard that a stalk can grow several inches in one day. Is that true Dad?

Inspired by the craze, I decided to have a crack at my own spargelcremesuppe, and duly bought myself a nice fat sheaf of locally grown spears. Googling in German (with translator) was the most likely way to find an authentic recipe. Unfortunately, it didn’t guarantee easy to follow directions:

“Heads aside and rest of the asparagus into small pieces. Who has time, can boil water in bowls of water with the asparagus and mix the broth.”

“The shells and the asparagus in 1.5 liters of water to a boil, cook about 20 minutes and let drain and then discard, catch the South.”

And my personal favourite:

“Also suited very well for the leftovers of an asparagus orgy.”

I know asparagus is out of season for my antipodean readers, but I’m posting the recipe here for future reference. All versions follow roughly this same method.

Spargelcremesuppe

1 kilo of white or green asparagus
2L of water
1tbsp sugar
1tbsp butter
1tbsp flour
1 glass of dry white wine
200ml cream
1 egg yolk
Grated nutmeg and/or chopped parsley to finish

White asparagus must be carefully and thoroughly peeled, starting from below the head and working downwards. Chop the peeled spears into short pieces. Make a stock by place the peelings and woody off-cuts in a large saucepan with the water. Bring to a simmer for a good twenty minutes, drain and collect the water. For green asparagus, use some good vegetable or chicken stock instead. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the sugar to taste. Add the peeled asparagus pieces and simmer gently until soft and no longer fibrous. Allow to cool a little and puree till smooth. Make a roux using equal parts flour and butter, melting the butter in a heavy based saucepan before sprinkling over the flour. Fry the mixture for a few minutes. Deglaze with the wine, stirring well, and add the pureed asparagus. Reheat the soup. Beat the egg yolk in the cream. Remove your pot from the heat and add the egg mixture, stirring quickly. If you cook it past this point, the egg yolk will curdle. Serve with a nice Riesling (another local specialty) and some crusty German bread.

Fingerless Gloves - Green Asparagus

Fingerless Gloves in Green Asparagus by ginaminda

Spargelzeit - eco-friendly greeting card

Eco friendly greeting card by thespottedsparrow

Eco Crocheted Dish Towels in Asparagus (set of 3)

Eco crocheted dish towels in asparagus by sarahhoo

TOTE / asparagus

Asparagus Tote by Pawling

1/12 MINIATURE - asparagus and fried egg dish

Asparagus miniature by sleepingdogstore

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9 Responses to “Adding some spargel to life”


  1. 1 Arthur Kelly May 17, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Yes it is Ally. According to the website of the Australian Asparagus Council (www.asparagus.com.au), asparagus can grow to a length of 25 cm in a day!! If you want to learn about growing asparagus, types of asparagus,asparagus cooking tips etc have a look at this site. Apparently you can also get white asparagus by growing it under mini polyhouses made from black plastic to exclude the light. I look forward to a meal of fresh white asparagus, a glass of good German reisling and some authentic German bread soon!!

    Dad

  2. 2 Expat Women May 17, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Hi,

    Regina here, for ExpatWomen.com.

    I would like to personally invite you to list your blog on our Expat Women Blog Directory (www.expatwomen.com/expatblog/) so that other women can read about and learn from your expat experiences.

    Many thanks in advance for your contribution and keep up your great blog!

    Regina

  3. 3 trisha (PAWLING | print studio) May 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    thanks so much for featuring our tote! LOVE those fingerless gloves and LOVE asparagus!

  4. 4 Chasing Heartbeats May 18, 2010 at 6:04 am

    LOVE the asparagus tote! perfect for the market. White asparagus is such a treat & I think I need to try to make this soup- my man doesn’t love spargel so if I always try and disguise his least favorite vegetables in soup to see if he’ll eat it. 🙂 Glad I found your blog, its darling!!
    xo ashley

  5. 5 Sarah Hoo May 19, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Hi there! Thanks for putting my crocheted dish cloths in your post. I wanted to let you know that this item was featured on etsy’s front page last night and I have a feeling it’s because of your promotion. Thanks so much! If you’re ever interested in doing a giveaway with one of my items, please let me know. 🙂
    -Sarah

  6. 7 Spotted Sparrow May 20, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Great post! I only just tried Spargel for the first time last week, even though I’ve been in Germany for 3 years. Isn’t it crazy how people go nuts for it?

    Thanks for including my card with the other fun Spargel items. 🙂

  7. 9 lulusbay May 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I have enjoyed strolling through your blog – found you through expatblogs… lovely photos.

    My mother-in-law always makes her spargelcremesuppe from the peelings – and it is quite delicious (I think there is egg in it too) even my youngest will eat it and she is not a great fan of the ‘spargelzeit’. My sister in law peels them and slices them up – sauted in a hot pan with a little sugar salt pepper – I prefer them this way rather than boiled – they seem to keep their flavour.

    Anyway – just stopping by…cheers Lulu


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A girl with a camera, a toddler and a sewing machine. Making sense of Germany... and life in general.

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