This Roasted Asparagus Soup with Paleo Croutons is very low in carbohydrates, and contains a lesser amount of fat per gram than most blended soups. I’ve focused a lot on coconut milk-blended soups this winter, the both of which contained a much higher quantity of the aforementioned high-fat ingredient than this one. Those two were experiments, that I created out of nostalgia for the high-fat holiday dinners I (and probably you too) grew up with.
When I stopped eating chicken/turkey at age 7, the turkey-stuffing-green bean casserole routine kind of started to irk me…so it seems a bit odd (to myself and probably others) that I started to write about “rich” foods other than the occasional avocado or handful of sunflower nuts/pepitas/squash seeds. I’m not converting to the dark side, I promise. Coconut milk (in the amount that I use, even in the slightly more decadent recipes) is in far lesser amounts than would be used in say, a curry dish at your favorite vegan-friendly Thai restaurant. So bear with me, regarding the coconut milk as a current staple or featured ingredient. My recipes are, and always will be, lower-calorie and better for you than others on the web at large (as well as in restaurants, and everywhere else). If you’ve read my blog for more than a minute, you already know this :)
Coconut milk, while high in fat on the label, is a far cry from the Crisco, butter, turkey drippings, or other form of animal fat often consumed during the holidays. It does lend, however, the type of nostalgia that my Nana might desire adding to a meal she prepares for the family. *I should let it be known that she (Nana) despite not wanting to talk about how animals are slaughtered (she always avoided my attempts to show her PETA’s Meet Your Meat, for example) was always very interested in my ideas for vegan recipes, and even sought out vegan recipes when my diet consisted of merely raw kale and almonds. Thanks, Nana. I hope you read this <3
Anyway, this soup contains even less coconut milk than both the Curried Coconut Butternut Bisque and the Coconut Cream of Mushroom Soup. It is made of mostly asparagus, a vegetable that many are wary of (for reasons I can’t relate to; I’ve always preferred green vegetables). The croutons are optional, but they are high in protein and 100% paleo approved (apart from perhaps the baking http://www.texasgoldengirl.com/celexa/ powder).
It is best to make the paleo bread in advance; let it dry out as you would a conventional or otherwise grain-based bread. If you do not have time to do this, don’t fret! Just use the muffin tin (same you used to prepare the bread) or oven pan/cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with coconut oil–then place in oven with asparagus and check frequently until a crisp or cracker-esque texture is obtained.
Roasted Asparagus Bisque + Cauliflower-Coconut Croutons
for the Paleo Croutons:
6oz cauliflower florets
1 Tbsp coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 flax “eggs”
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of Himalayan pink salt
pinch of black pepper
for the roasted asparagus bisque:
1 bunch asparagus
1 Tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp extra-virgin coconut oil, optional
1 cup vegetable broth or stock
1 Meyer lemon (juice of)
1 clove garlic, minced
for the paleo croutons:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 8 sections of muffin tin with baking cups.
Steam the cauliflower florets. Cool slightly. Puree the cauliflower together with the coconut milk and flax “egg”. Blend until smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Fold in the the cauliflower mixture, stirring until blended. Divide batter evenly among prepared baking cups.
Bake Paleo Bread dough in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Center should feel set when gently punctured with a fork. Transfer muffin tin to cooling rack. Now proceed to roasting asparagus for the Roasted Asparagus Bisque.
for the roasted asparagus:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Evenly disperse asparagus onto oven pan or cookie sheet; you can also use the muffin tin if it’s free, unless you complete both steps (the croutons and roasted asparagus) at once. Drizzle asparagus with 1 tsp coconut oil, if desired (you can also broil/roast without the oil if desired; in this recipe I used much less oil [1 tsp vs the 1 Tbsp oil used in standard roasted asparagus recipes e.g. Martha Stewart’s] but that’s only because I try not to alienate the mainstream. You can use no oil, and I actually recommend it, but if you do then be sure to check the asparagus and rotate throughout the roasting process [in the zero oil method it will require more attention to avoid burning] ).
Once Asparagus is roasted/broiled:
Purée in a blender or food processor with vegetable broth/stock, lemon juice, and minced garlic clove. Add Braggs or coconut aminos to taste, if desired; or provide as a condiment for serving.