This recipe is one that I found in one of my vintage cookbooks. I am a huge fan of asparagus, as well as soup, and this is a great combination.
The recipe comes from a booklet called, “The Good Provider’s Cook Book.” The book promotes the use of evaporated milk in recipes and it was published by the Borden’s company, makers of evaporated milk. I couldn’t find a publication date on the book but during my research I found that it was published in 1948.
White Sauce Recipe
- 3 TBLS butter
- 3 TBLS flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 cups Borden’s Evaporated Milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable puree made from the discarded asparagus stalks*
Melt the butter in a double boiler, then add flour, salt, and pepper. Stir until well blended.
In a separate bowl, combine the evaporated milk and water. Slowly add the combination to the double boiler, then stir until it thickens. Continue cooking mixture for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
After fifteen minutes, add the puree. Increase temperature to bring contents up to the boiling point. Use a utensil to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, but don’t let it boil. It is done just before it boils.
*Vegetable puree is not commonly used anymore. It was something cooks did (and some still do) to use the outside leaves and other course parts of a vegetable. I found a website that does an excellent job of explaining how to make vegetable puree here. Or, you can substitute baby food, such as carrots, if you don’t want to be bothered with making it yourself.
Creamy Asparagus Soup Recipe
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 3 cups water
- 2 slices of onion
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1 TBLS minced parsley
- 1 celery stalk, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 blade of mace or dash of ground mace (optional)
- 4 cups White Sauce (see above)
Prepare fresh asparagus for use (if fresh is used). Trim off the tips and simmer the tips in a small pot with one cup of water until stalks are tender. Set aside.
Add the following to a medium pot – two cups of water, onion, bay leaf, parsley, celery, salt, petter, and mace (optional). Cut the remaining asparagus stalks into one inch sized pieces and add to pot. Slowly simmer until tender (approximately one hour).
Puree mixture by pressing through a sieve, mixing in a blender, or using a stick blender.
Add tips, the water the tips were simmered in, and the white sauce. Reheat briefly, then serve immediately.