Recipe courtesy of The Bear Cupboard (http://bearcupboard.blogspot.com)

Source:  The Bear Cupboard

Rating:  10 out of 10

1 lb. fresh asparagus, rinsed, ends trimmed, coarsely chopped

1 medium fennel bulb, rinsed, trimmed, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled

1/3 cup whole, raw, unsalted cashews

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. Morton kosher salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

2-3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish

Additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed

Heat oven to 400F.  In 9 x 13 pan, combine asparagus, fennel, garlic, cashews, oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. white pepper.  Roast 20-30 minutes, till veggies are soft and aromatic.  Remove from oven and puree in batches in a food processor or blender till very smooth, or place veggies in a 2-3 quart pot and puree with an immersion blender.  Slowly add broth while whisking or stirring; heat to almost boiling on medium heat; cover pot, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes (or longer) to blend flavors.  Add additional broth if thinner consistency is desired.  Taste to adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if desired, but remember that the Parmesan will add more salt.  Serve hot in bowls and garnish with shaved or grated high-quality Parmesan cheese.  Yield:  4 servings


If you have saved Parmesan rinds, throw them in the pot when you add the broth, and discard them before serving.  

Shave Parmesan easily by using a vegetable peeler.

Cooking for one or two?  No problem, this soup freezes beautifully, sans garnish, of course.

No fennel?  No problem.  Substitute onion.