In Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and France, late April to late June is white asparagus season. During this period I always try to eat as much white asparagus as possible – we’ve already had them 4 times! Compared to green asparagus, the white ones are more tender and less bitter. Normally Koen and I always eat them the Dutch way, with Hollandais sauce, ham, smoked salmon and a boiled egg. This season we’ve been experimenting. A few tips from Jeroen Meus to keep in mind when preparing asparagus:
- Poke the bottom of the asparagus with your thumbnail; if moisture comes, they’re fresh
- Rub the asparagus together; if they make a squeaky sound, they’re fresh
- Rather than cutting the end off, break it off with your hands; that way you don’t accidentally cut off any of the tender asparagus
I have always loved asparagus soup but had never made it myself. This recipe is so simple and so flavorful. I will definitely make it again! My only mistake is that I didn’t make enough. I didn’t realize that you generally have to take into account 500g per person. Luckily we had bread on hand so we had enough to eat. You’ll also notice that the asparagus I used are very thin. The thin asparagus are called “soup asparagus”. So even more work to peel all of them! I also had to make one substitution – I didn’t have any sherry, so I used white wine instead with the egg yolk and cream mixture.
As a side note – I found my camera! It’s been lost for about a year so I’m really happy it turned up when we were doing some Spring cleaning. Now I’m able to take better photos!
For our most recent white asparagus meal, Koen prepared them the Flemish way, or Asperges à la Flamande. Even though Koen and I have lived in Belgium for 3 years, we’ve never eaten them this way. Chris and Hannah were visiting us from the Netherlands yesterday, so we decided it was the perfect time to prepare this Belgian dish. It’s very similar to the Dutch way, but the tastes are more subtle. Rather than Hollandais sauce, the asparagus is served with clarified butter mixed with pieces of boiled egg and parsley. But I have to say, although this was delicious, I prefer them with a good Hollandais sauce. Of course I was eating dinner with 3 Dutch people and they were joking that this is an easier version of the Dutch way because Belgians can’t make a good Hollandais haha.