Is it worth it? Do you ever think that?
Eat another piece of cake? Is it worth the calories? (YES….it is cake….life is short.)
Go to the fancy restaurant? Is it worth the extra money to eat off little plates decorated like pieces of artwork? (YES….because usually pretty food is delicious food.)
Eat the spring asparagus? Is it worth your pee smelly funky for a day? (YES…I went there and I’ll tell you why……)
I guess this might be one of my most unappetizing blogs (and if you don’t want to read it…I understand so you can scroll straight to the recipe below) but let’s face it, if it isn’t an actual discussion….almost everyone who eats asparagus thinks about the stinky pee factor. (This is something my husband and I discuss….because we’ve been married a long time….we are running out of topics….and because we are juvenile…and he sings “This is the dawning of the age of asparagus” after he eats it and goes potty.)
For some people, there is no smell so they aren’t part of this unique club. (It is kind of like the people who can’t stand cilantro because it tastes soapy to them.)
It all comes down to science. Apparently, there is something called Asparagusic acid (which sounds like a name I would have made up when writing up a chem lab back in college). When Asparagusic acid breaks down in your body, sulfur compounds are developed.
These compounds have a low boiling point and turn to gas VERY quickly. So essentially when you are going tinkle (technical term), you get a whiff of this gas that is produced from eating asparagus.
Which goes back to my original topic….Is it worth it? YES!!!! Think of all the other foods that give us gas and we don’t think twice about eating them. (I do think twice about serving it sometimes but that is another topic….maybe…nope…never.)
I came into a bounty of asparagus the other day. There was so much that I knew I had to do something more than my usual roasting as a side dish. (Plus, I’ll be honest….I like asparagus but it isn’t my favorite veggies so it makes it on my menu board only a handful of times a year.)
A year or two ago I had gone to a restaurant that had a fabulous asparagus soup. It tasted like spring. It was bright and light. It was a beautiful shade of green and even though it had cream in it…it wasn’t heavy.
I contacted the chef and she was kind enough to give me a few quick hints on how to make it. (I would like to share her name but am not sure she wants it associated with a blog on asparagus pee.)
With my tasting spoons by my side, I got cooking. I sautéed the asparagus with a chopped leek. I added a really good chicken stock and gave it a little taste. More salt? A little. More broth? Only if I wanted to mask the asparagus.
I added a small amount of cream to start and gave it whirl with my immersion blender. I tasted it again. Oooooo. That is good. I continued to blend it until it was smooth. I took another taste….it was delightful….and super easy. I love that!!!!
When I served it, I gave it one additional swirl of cream and served it with some crostini and it was a perfect weeknight meal. (And the after effects gave us conversation for days!)
2 pounds of asparagus, trimmed and chopped
1 leek, washed really well, thinly sliced
6-8 cups chicken stock
½ -3/4 cup of cream
In a large Dutch oven, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
Sauté asparagus and leeks until soft.
Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
I had to add a minimal amount of salt because my chicken broth was very flavorful.
Add about ½ cup of the cream
Using an immersion blender, puree up the vegetables. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, use your big blender and do in small batches being careful of the steam buildup as you puree.)
Give it a final twirl with the blender, taste for seasoning and serve.
I added a little swirl of cream on top.
Think of me when you pee. J