Paleo Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Soup

2013-03-11
The inspiration for this recipe came from two places.  The first: Melissa d’Arabian’s Almost Raw Asparagus Soup recipe that I saw on her Ten Dollar Dinner show.  The second:  I had struggled in the past to create bacon wrapped asparagus that cooked both the asparagus and bacon well.  The common difficulty with making bacon-wrapped aparagus is that the asparagus overcooks, and the bacon does not get quite crisp enough.  When I saw the original asparagus soup recipe on television, I could not wait to make my Paleo spin on bacon-wrapped asparagus.

Asparagus are delicious, whether raw or cooked, but you must remove the hard part of the stem before eating them.  Luckily, it is extremely easy to find where the hard stem ends and the tender asparagus stalk begins.  Simply put your hand at the end of the stalk and bend it gently until it breaks off.  The point where it breaks easily will remove all of the inedible stalk.  You can use one asparagus to line up next to the others and cut all the other stalks at once with a knife, or pick up and snap each piece individually.  Either way, the process doesn’t take long!  

The asparagus is not roasted for very long in the oven, so the soup retains a beautiful green color.  The touch of coconut milk is to add a bit of creaminess without making it heavy.  The original recipe used greek yogurt to finish the soup, but I think the tanginess would take a lot away from the flavors of bacon and lemon.   The bacon adds a delightful crisp, and pairs well with toasted almonds on top.  It reminds me of the green bean dish my Mom used to make that had slivered almonds.  However, the bacon and chicken broth can both be omitted and you could use vegetable broth instead if you wanted to make this soup vegetarian.

This soup can be enjoyed hot or cold.  I actually enjoyed the leftovers straight from the fridge.  I had kept the extra bacon slices that I crumbled in a small container, and just sprinkled them on top with a teaspoon of almond slices.  Even when you make it for the first time, it is optional to pour it from your Vitamix or blender into a soup pot to heat.  You could just serve it straight from the blender.  It all depends on you and your families’ taste buds!  

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, hard stem removed
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 4-5 pieces of bacon
  • 1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbs lemon zest
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond slices, toasted
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • 2. Remove hard stem at end of asparagus and place on an aluminum foil-lined baking pan
  • 3. Drizzle with coconut or olive oil and season with pepper and salt
  • 4. Cook for 5-8 minutes so that asparagus is slightly roasted, but does not lose its green color
  • 5. Let the asparagus cool slightly, then cut them in half
  • 6. Place bacon strips on a microwavable tray and cook for 2-3 minutes or until crisp, then let cool
  • 7. On the same baking pan, place almond slices, and toast in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until slightly toasted
  • 8. Add water, chicken broth, coconut milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic powder to Vitamix or blender, and blend on HIGH for 1-2 minutes
  • 9. If desired, pour contents of Vitamix or blender into a medium sauce pan and heat on medium-low/medium until heated through
  • 10. Serve with about a tablespoon of toasted almonds and a piece of bacon crumbled on top
  • 11. Enjoy!