Ayurveda guides us to eat whatever is ripe and enticing in our local area – which makes spring a fabulous time for eating! Asparagus is one of spring’s early gifts, so start looking for some at your farmers market. A tridoshic vegetable that’s nourishing for everyone, the fresh bright color of this soup points to its vibrant flavor. The white beans can be a secret ingredient that quietly lends a neutral-tasting creamy consistency and a dose of protein, or you can garnish with a few whole beans and give away your secret.
Here at the height of Kapha season, heavy and oily foods are hard to digest, so this light soup uses just a dash of olive oil on the surface for a hit of flavor. If you have fresh herbs, they really shine here – just use more fresh herbs than the small amounts called for here, as fresh herbs are less concentrated in their flavor than dried herbs.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1 bunch asparagus (look for thin shoots with tight, firm tips)
1/2 cup cooked cannelini beans
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon mineral-rich salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
black pepper to taste
fresh-squeezed lemon juice to taste
extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil – about 1/2 teaspoon per bowl to garnish
1. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus stalks by breaking each shoot near the base – wherever it naturally breaks removes the tough stringy bits (about 1-2 inches). Chop the asparagus into 1-inch segments.
2. Boil the asparagus in 2 cups of water just until tender, about 8 minutes.
3. Add asparagus and cooking water to a blender, along with beans and spices (or use a hand-held immersion blender right in the cooking pot). Blend until you reach your desired consistency – chunky or smooth.
4. Serve with a dash of olive oil swirled on the top, a hefty squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper.