Asparagus was introduced to the Vietnamese by the French. It was termed, literally, “Western Bamboo” for its similar growth characteristics. Spring is the perfect season to enjoy this soup, as asparagus and scallions are abundant. For an added crunch, add matchstick-zucchini at the end. I cannot remember where I found this delicious recipe, but I modified it to my liking and it has become my favorite crab soup!
- 1 lb. asparagus ~ washed, woody end removed, and cut diagonally into 1″ pieces, being sure to leave the tips in tact
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 4 tbsp shallots (or scallions) ~ finely chopped
- 2 tbsp garlic ~ minced or finely chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups chicken broth (I like to make this from scratch)
- 16 oz. lump crab meat
- 4 tbsp kuzu root powder (you can find this in Asian markets in the Japanese section, or at health stores such as Whole Foods)
- 4 tbsp filtered water
- 2 eggs ~ lightly beaten
- dash organic cane sugar
- dash sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper ~ for garnish
- chopped scallions & cilantro ~ for garnish
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat, in a large stainless steel pot.
- Sauté the shallots and garlic until it reaches a lovely aromatic, golden brown.
- Add the asparagus, sea salt, and black pepper. Cook the asparagus until it turns a bright, dark green.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- In a small bowl, combine the kuzu root powder and water, stirring to make a thin, smooth paste. Add it to the soup.
- Stir the soup well and drizzle in the beaten egg slowly.
- Add the crabmeat and stir well.
- Garnish with the chopped scallions, cilantro and some freshly ground pepper.