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Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini

Fresh Asparagus and Pea Soup with Ricotta and Smashed Pea and Mint Crostini

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Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini

This Asparagus and Pea soup screams “spring” but can be adapted to take you right through the fall! In the summer, sub the asparagus for zucchini and in the fall, you can sub it for a leafy green (think spinach or kale). But, in my opinion, it’s the loaded toasts that take this soup over the top!!!

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Can I hear a ‘woop woop’ for all of my asparagus fans out there?

I wait every year, with bated breath, for Ontario asparagus season because I love it that much.

Like rhubarb, asparagus reminds me that great weather is on its way and winter is behind us (at least for a little while).

asparagus and pea soup

So, thinking about soup and asparagus, I created this super fresh soup using asparagus and peas (plus a touch of mint!)

Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini
asparagus all prepped

And, the icing on the cake (or the topping on the soup) are the ricotta and smashed mint-scented pea crostini (I used my amazing Goldtouch baking sheet to make the crostini…seriously the best pan I’ve ever had!!).

Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini

The smashed minted pea mixture is seriously epic! It makes more that you’ll need for the soup but you should keep it (lasts a few weeks in the fridge) and serve it on your next charcuterie board with some fresh veggies!! And, remember, if you’re not a fan of mint, you can sub basil in its place!! And if you’re like the rest of the world on a cottage cheese kick and you have a container in the fridge, feel free to sub in the cottage cheese for the ricotta – just throw it in the blender first!!

Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini
smashed pea mixture to top the toasts

After the asparagus, peas, onions (I used red onions because they are sweeter!!) and broth come to a boil, leave them for a bit to ensure they are tender enough to puree.

Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini

This soup, topped with the crostini, is such an incredible dish for spring – especially when you can pick up fresh peas and asparagus at your local farmers market!!

Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini

Doesn’t this look so pretty in these bowls??

Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini

asparagus and pea soup

A few tips on getting a ‘creamy’ feeling in this Asparagus and Pea Soup without actually putting cream in your soup:

  • If you have a soup that has vegetables (especially lots of leafy greens), you can add a boiled potato. Once it is pureed, it will seem ‘creamier’!
  • Make a roux or a slurry. When you want a creaminess, adding a slurry (in a glass, add about 3 tbsp liquid – water is fine – along with 1 tbsp flour, mixing together well), makes anything creamy…it’s like the lazy man’s way of making a roux (which is a process of cooking butter and flour together to create a thickener!!)
  • When you want the taste of cream, add a few tablespoons of sour cream. You can also add the same amount of plain yogurt but you may taste the tanginess of the yogurt – especially if your soup is simple in taste.
  • Even just pureeing this Asparagus and Pea soup, once it is cooked, can transform your soup into a creamy, delicious soup. This works best with beans, legumes or vegetable soups. To do this, use slightly less broth or liquid than you normally would.
  • Finally, you can soak unroasted cashews and blend them with some broth and add the soup mixture…it’s truly a game changer!!

More Soups Like This Asparagus and Pea Soup:

So, it is spring (finally!!) and you all really need to try this soup…it will make you so happy!!

I promise!!!

Fresh asparagus and pea soup with ricotta and smashed pea and mint crostini

Asparagus and Pea Soup

This soup is super easy to make and is so fresh!!! And it lasts a week in the fridge!!!

Ingredients
  

Crostini:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups fresh peas you can sub in frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 baguette sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic

Soup:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped (I used red because I like the added sweetness)
  • 2 lbs asparagus 2 bunches, tough ends snapped off, rinsed
  • 1 litre reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh peas you can use frozen
  • 2 tbsp ricotta
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water and red pepper flakes and heat until the water boils. Add the peas (2 cups) and cook until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas and place the peas in a food processor with the mint, salt, and pepper. Puree the pea mixture. Place the pea puree in a medium bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
  • In a large soup pot, add 1 tbsp oil and heat over low heat. Cook onion until softened.
  • Cut asparagus into bite sized pieces and add to the pot (reserving a few tips to top the soup if you wish) along with chicken broth and peas. Bring to a boil, cover and cook low about 20 minutes or until asparagus and peas are very tender.
  • Remove from heat, add ricotta and using your hand held blender, puree until smooth; season to taste (you can also use a stand-up blender but you will need to puree the mixture in two batches).
  • Season to taste.
  • Preheat the oven to 375° degrees F. Place the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven until toasted and golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. While the crostini are still warm, drizzle the tops with extra-virgin olive oil. Holding a whole clove of garlic in your fingertips, rub the top of the crostini a few times to give a hint of garlic. To finish, top each of the crostini with about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta and about 1 tbsp pea puree.
  • Add one crostini to each bowl.
  • Serve!

Notes

To make this seasonal, you can sub in zucchini for the asparagus in the summer and greens (spinach or kale) for the asparagus in the fall.
You can sub basil for mint if you don’t like mint (basil has a minty undertone)
You can sub in cottage cheese (puréed) for the ricotta