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Asparagus Bisque and Bruschetta






ASPARAGUS BISQUE


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped sweet onions

2 pounds fresh Michigan asparagus, cut into bite size pieces 2 minced garlic cloves

3 ounces feta

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk

2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon chicken bouillon or soup base

2 cups fresh spinach

1 tablespoon house seasoning (salt, pepper and garlic)


GARNISH

Asparagus Bruschetta (see below)


MAKE SOUP

Add the oil and onions to a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Add asparagus and garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook for another 10-12 minutes, frequently stirring.


Using an immersion blender, blend soup together until desired consistency. Simmer on low until ready to serve. (Note: If using a blender, add soup in small batches and blend together. Don’t overfill or soup will spill over the sides.)


ASSEMBLE

Add soup to bowls and garnish with asparagus bruschetta topping and fresh dill.






ASPARAGUS BRUSCHETTA


1 loaf fresh baguette or country bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 whole garlic cloves


1 cup fresh Michigan asparagus tips (reserved from bisque, see above)

1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 minced garlic cloves

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

8 ounces fresh burrata

Fresh basil pesto, for garnish

Balsamic glaze, for garnish


Preheat oven to 375º F.


Cut bread into ½-inch thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Brush bread with 2 tablespoons of oil and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until crusty and golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately rub each slice with garlic. Set aside until ready to assemble.


Add asparagus tips to a jar and cover with water, microwave for 2 minutes. Drain water and add asparagus tips to a bowl. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic and white balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine.


ASSEMBLE


Top each slice with the asparagus mixture. Top with some burrata on each slice. Drizzle with some pesto and balsamic glaze. Serve with Asparagus Bisque.





I'm so happy to announce that Michigan, currently, claims the #1 spot in the nation for asparagus production, including both fresh and processed asparagus. Yay, go Michigan!


Oceana County is known as the "The Asparagus Capital of the Nation" and produces two-thirds of the asparagus that is grown in Michigan.


Michigan asparagus is not only delicious, but very nutritious as well. It is low in calories, only 20 per 5.3 ounce serving, less than 4 calories per spear. It contains no fat or cholesterol and very low in sodium. It is a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, rutin and glutathione. One of the most important health benefits of asparagus? It is high in folic acid. A 5.3 ounce serving provides 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance for folacin, which is necessary for blood cell formation, growth, and prevention of liver disease. It's not only tasty, it's also good for you.


Michigan is the only state to hand pick their asparagus. Asparagus is picked close to the ground, snapping off at the base. Stalks are referred to as spears and over 500 million spears are harvested by hand each season. It takes 4 years before a field is fully mature and fields last for approximately 20 years. A mature field is picked 25-35 times per season. White and green asparagus are from the same plant. If they harvest the asparagus while still underground, it is white (because it hasn't reached the sunlight no photosynthesis takes places and therefor no chlorophyll develops which would give it its green color). Most asparagus in Michigan is grown in the sunlight, hence the green color. Purple asparagus is a different variety than green asparagus. It is also a little sweeter than green asparagus. It has a beautiful purple color when raw, but it turns green when cooked. So if you see white, green and purple asparagus at your farmers market, you'll know the difference between them. Green and purple asparagus can be eaten root to tip, raw or cooked but white asparagus needs the be peeled because it has a tough, bitter stalk. All asparagus needs to stay cold after it is picked. For more Michigan Asparagus recipes and information, check out their website. Also, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. This post is sponsored by Michigan Asparagus. All opinions expressed are my own.



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