This creamy white asparagus soup made with nutrient-packed seasonal produce is courtesy of Glow, a garden-to-table concept serving fresh ingredients from the island’s garden at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. Although this recipe contains dairy, you can easily turn it into a vegan delight using the plant-based milk of your choice. And to learn more about the advantages of eating with the seasons, we spoke with a registered dietitian that shared the health benefits of the star ingredients used to make this delicious dish that will help you live longer.
Longevity-boosting benefits of asparagus, leeks, and onions, according to a dietitian
Whether you’re enjoying it on vacation or making this soup at home, registered dietitian nutritionist and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, agrees that this simple recipe is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to power you throughout the day and help you live longer. Not to mention the fact that the key ingredients in this soup are at their peak *right* now, which means both maximum flavor potential and antioxidant capacity.
1. Asparagus can help support blood and bone health
Asparagus, the star ingredient of this creamy soup, is a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate, choline, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta carotene, lutein, and vitamin K. "The vitamin K helps support blood health and can prevent harmful blood clots from forming, which is particularly important when it comes to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease," Ehsani says. “Vitamin K also plays a role in helping support bone health and can help prevent osteoporosis and risk of bone fractures. In addition, folate has been linked to supporting heart health, reducing your risk of certain cancers, and even supports healthy brain function.” Talk about a mic drop.
And as an FYI, though this recipe calls for white asparagus, Ehsani says that when comparing white to green asparagus, there’s not too much of a nutritional difference. "The main distinction between the two types is that white asparagus is grown underground and doesn’t contain chlorophyll, which makes green asparagus green in color,” she says.
2. Leeks are loaded with prebiotic fiber and anti-inflammatory benefits
Sweet, oniony, and ideal for adding depth to a stock, leeks are “loaded with nutrient-dense vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber,” Ehsani says. Part of the allium family, they are closely related to garlic, chives, shallots, and onions and contain tons of prebiotic fiber from inulin that helps support gut health and regular bowel movements. According to Ehsani, the edible portion of the leek (aka the stem or stalk) also contains vitamin A, which helps boost eye health; vitamin C, which supports immune health; and vitamin K, which has bone and blood health benefits.
Watch the video below for more tips on what to eat for optimal gut health:
3. Onions help strengthen your immune system and lower your risk for chronic illness
An essential flavoring agent for the foundation of a soup, onions provide a sweet-savory richness to this recipe. But they also act as a bountiful source of vitamin C. “Vitamin C helps keep your immune system strong and helps you absorb iron better from other foods. Onions also contain high concentrations of allyl sulfides, an organic compound found in many alliums, which have been linked to reducing both heart disease and cancer risk—which of course means more longevity-boosting benefits.”
White asparagus soup recipe
Yields four servings
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup onion, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp leeks, roughly chopped white and light green parts only, roots trimmed, tough outer layers removed
3/4 cup milk
3/4 pound white asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cream
Himalayan salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
2/3 ounce black truffle, for garnish (optional)
1 Tbsp herb oil, for garnish (optional)
1 Tbsp tomato oil, for garnish (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat, add the olive oil. Gently sauté the onion, garlic, and leeks until fragrant, about one minute.
2. In the same pan, add the milk and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, add the white asparagus and cook until softened, about four to five minutes.
3. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the vegetable mixture. In a blender, combine the asparagus and a few tablespoons of cream at a time until the desired creamy consistency is achieved—season with salt and white paper to taste.
4. Serve warm with optional toppings like black truffle shavings, a drizzle of herb oil, and tomato oil.
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