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Don’t let the holiday season trip up your healthy eating

Thanksgiving, Christmas, even family meals can all be tough for people with special dietary needs, trying to lose weight, or just trying to stay healthy.

But with a little thinking preparation and willingness to stray ever-so-slightly away from tradition, you can prepare dishes that are packed with nutrition.

Purvi Desai, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with The Austin Diagnostic Clinic, shared this recipe for a Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Instead of cream, the recipe uses milk, so it has less fat, but with the addition of onion, shallot and garlic, it has no less flavor.

Desai said she came up with the recipe one evening because her family was tired of eating asparagus the same way all of the time. The soup turned out to be a hit.

Asparagus is in-season in the spring, but it can often be found in grocery stores year-round. This vegetable is a great source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. It also has cancer-fighting properties and is a rich source of antioxidants.

(No Cream) Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

(No cream) Cream of Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp for the onion/shallot mixture
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • ½ tsp salt (salt to taste)
  • ¼ tsp pepper (to taste)
  • About 1 pound of asparagus
  • ½ onion minced
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Instructions

Cut the woody stems off the asparagus and boil the asparagus for about 5-10 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside, reserving the cooking liquid for later.

Heat about 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the onions, garlic and shallot until soft and translucent. Add the asparagus and mix it in with the mixture. Let cool slightly and puree in a blender. Set aside.

Heat the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the flour and mix well. Cook for about 2-5 minutes until the flour is mixed in and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the milk and stir until it thickens (up to 10 minutes). Make sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Once thickened, add the puree mixture to the milk mixture. If you like a thinner consistency then add the liquid that the asparagus was cooked in to achieve the consistency you like.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Garnish and enjoy!