Asparagus & Artichoke Bisque
This is an “uptown” and elegant bisque perfect for entertaining but easy enough to make for casual weeknight dinners.
1 package (9 ounces) frozen artichokes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
unrefined sea salt, to taste
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic mellow white miso paste dissolved in 4 cups water or organic vegetable broth
6 petite red potatoes with skins on, chopped
18 medium-sized trimmed asparagus spears, chopped (about 2 cups chopped asparagus) handful of chopped parsley
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the frozen artichokes on a baking sheet and toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Season lightly with salt to taste. Roast the artichokes for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a medium-sized skillet; add the onion and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add the celery and saute 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion and celery are both very tender. Set aside.
3. If using miso, bring the miso and water to a boil in a large saucepan (otherwise, bring the vegetable broth to a boil). Add the potatoes to the boiling water, and cook until almost done, about 10 minutes. Add the asparagus, and cook another 4 minutes. Add the roasted artichokes and reserved onion and celery. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool.
4. Transfer 1 cup of the cooled broth (with no potato or vegetable chunks) to a Blender along with the parsley, hemp seeds, garlic, lemon juice, and tarragon; process on high until smooth and creamy. Transfer the parsley-hemp mixture to a separate saucepan.
5. Working in batches, puree the remaining potato-asparagus mixture in a Blender, transferring the puree to the saucepan with the parsley-hemp mixture. Once all the ingredients are pureed, heat over low heat for 5 minutes. Serve warm.