The Asparagus Table – La Vignarola – Italian Spring Soup, Wholemeal Asparagus Tart and Egg Asparagus Soldiers
Some of the simplest things in life are best, how often have you heard that remark? The long awaited asparagus season is here in New Zealand and keeping it simple with asparagus certainly highlights the veg at it’s best. My favourite way to eat asparagus is just lightly steamed served with eggs ‘anyway’ and lashings of butter, try a fun quirky way of serving the spears with your soft boiled egg using them as ‘dunking soldiers’. As I was eating the asparagus and boiled eggs my mind had already wandered onto truffle oil drizzled into the shell…watch out shopping bill, truffle oil may well be in the next basket.
The Italian spring soup La Vignarola is perfect for show casing not only asparagus but also lovely spring vegetables of podded peas and broad beans. If you can’t find them freshly podded and don’t have them sprouting away in your garden, snap frozen are pretty convenient and taste great too. A simple tart of asparagus with sour cream and mustard is easy for anyone to whip up, I made a wholemeal pastry but you can always buy pre bought if you are short on time or don’t have ‘pastry fingers’.
La Vignarola – Spring Soup
4 spring onions, sliced
2 bunches asparagus
200g frozen peas, defrosted
200g broad beans, podded (you can use frozen)
200g jar marinated artichoke hearts
3 cloves garlic
2 cups vegetable stock
Large handful each of parsley & mint, finely chopped
Zest and juice 1 small lemon
100g shaved Pecorino to serve
Salt & Pepper
Cut the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard, then cut spears into three.
Place a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the spring onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the asparagus, podded broad beans and stock to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the peas, artichokes juice and zest of the lemon to the saucepan and season with salt & pepper.
You can add some of the artichoke marinade to the soup also if you wish, tasting as you do.
Add the parsley and mint.
Bring the soup to the boil then remove from the heat and serve immediately, you want the veg to be crisp and green.
Serve the soup with shaved pecorino and crust bread
Asparagus Tart – serves 6
Ingredients – pastry
180g wholemeal flour
2 Tbsp iced water
pinch of salt
Method – Pastry
Place flour, butter and salt in the bowl and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and water and knead together briefly to form a dough.
Rest the pastry in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll pastry out to fit tart tin and press into place, trim edges off pastry.
Ingredients – Tart Filling
1 bunch spring asparagus
250g sour cream
2 large free range eggs
2 heaped tsp whole grain mustard
salt & pepper to season
ground black pepper
Method – Tart Filling
Pre-heat oven at 180C & grease & flour a 20cm loose bottom tart tin.
Remove the woody ends from the asparagus and cut spear in half.
Whisk together the sour cream, eggs and mustard and season with a little salt & pepper.
Pour mixture into the pastry base.
Lay the asparagus half spears on top of the mixture in pastry case, alternating tip and base as in picture.
Grind some black pepper over the top of asparagus.
Bake in oven on a lower shelf (to crisp pastry base) for 35-40 minutes until tart is set and golden.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing tart from mould.
Serve warm of chilled
Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
Asparagus happens to be my number 2 fave vegetable. This sounds YummY. Thank you Pease Pudding.
I love asparagus any which way 🙂 Gorgeous tart, but that soup is the one that is likely to make an appearance this weekend 🙂
You’ve been busy again! All look delicious, especially the tart.
Busy cooking…busy eating and time to do more :o)
I wait for your posts! The recipes are always so refreshingly different. It encourages me to try things you cook with. And your pictures are another inspiration. So beautiful and clear and artistic. I’m trying to learn from your photographs.
Thanks Deb, you’re too kind and your recipes always make me hungry they are full of wonderful flavours
Yum, going to make the tart this week. Just a questions how many eggs in the custard? I can’t see them in the tart filling ingredients. Thanks so much.
Apologies Nicola, 2 large eggs
I love all those asparagus lined up like little soldiers in the tart.
Love the asparagus tart! Such a great idea
All delicious! I thought of truffle oil as soon as I saw the title 😉
Great ways of using asparagus. Everything looks mouthwatering.
Yummy asparagus, every single way, we have been eating tons of them (especially with eggs), if it wasn’t for the rain I would feel like Spring 🙂
It’s been an awfully wet and cold weekend hasn’t it? I hope it doesn’t shorten our asparagus season
Beautiful photos and recipes.
I love asparagus! Here in Southern Oregon asparagus grows wild in the pear orchards in the spring. Asparagus is so versatile and delicious. Great photos!
Wow that would be amazing, pear and asparagus picking at the same time.
I love your first shot of the asparagus, really nice
We seem to be having a second spring here at the moment, the weather is glorious and I am really fancying that beautifully light and deliciously green soup right now. Shame all I see is pumpkin everywhere! Oh well I’m sure I saw a gypsy man selling that fine & wiry wild asparagus at the side of the road a few days ago… the same guy that is roasting chestnuts in metal bins every evening when it gets dark. Wild Asparagus & Chestnut Soup???? 😀
That tart looks gorgeous. I love asparagus tart. Your soup looks scrumptious too. I am quite jealous that you are entering asparagus season now, as we rush towards Winter. Having said that, however, I do love roasted squash and root veg, plus the apples and pears are so good now, despite the death of the apple tree that our neighbour lets us ‘use’, due to the weird weather we have been having all year here in the UK, I think. Such a shame as I have been collecting ideas for them all year! I will just have to pay for some! 🙂 We had a bottle of truffle oil from some good friends, and it is fantastic. You only need a teeny tiny but though, as the flavour is so strong, so it could go on for years (if it doesn’t go off!) – a worthwhile investment, perhaps?!
That’ a shame about the apple tree, maybe you will end up with NZ apples! You are right Lucy about only needing a little truffle oil, it may be expensive but it is worth it and goes a long way. I did buy my bottle ;o)
Mmmm, I was chuckling over the “asparagus” soldiers, then I saw the delicious looking soup but….yum, over the asparagus tart! Beautiful photos…
i love the idea of making an asparagus tart (and eating it, of course) but i’m afraid my number one way of enjoying them is very similar to yours – lightly steamed, lots of butter and a good grinding of black pepper and pinch of sea salt flakes. asparagus are really best enjoyed as they are.
Ali, your asparagus tart is perfection! I love it steamed as a snack-I can eat so many at one go, it’s embarrassing lol.
No embarrassing at all, I eat so much of it i ask hubby only last night if he was sick of asparagus yet?
Lovely spring soup. The greeny and lemony flavor mixed with pecorino must be great for perfect spring meal.
…I forgot to say that it was a beautiful way of showing the egg 😉
I was so tempted to put some eyes on the egg as the napkin makes it look like a scarf around a neck
Great shots Ali. That pastry sounds excellent night have to give it a go
found this fantastic recipe on pinterest. The Tart is so yummy! Thanks! You made me happy 😉
Thanks you, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I’m still in love: look