Empire Asparagus Fest recipe contest winners

From staff reports


Judge’s Choice #1 

Charlie Stairs of Empire


Cream of Asparagus Soup

Makes 1 gallon


2 pounds asparagus

chicken stock – a little or none

1/2 onion

1 quart cream

clarified butter


salt and pepper to taste



Wash Asparagus. Cut tips off and slice tender stem of asparagus thinly. Set aside. Grind tougher parts of stems to a puree.

Cover pureed stems with water and bring to a boil. Strain out liquid and save it.

Dice onion finely and saute in large pot until tender. Add asparagus liquid and enough stock to total about 3 quarts.

Make roux with clarified butter and flour.

Bring asparagus liquid and stock to a boil slowly. Add cream. When it returns to boil, thicken as desired with roux.

Saute cut asparagus with butter just until tender and add to soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of pixie dust.



Judge’s Choice #2 

Linda Payment of Empire


Sauted Asparagus in Soy Sauce Glaze

Serves six

1.5 pounds of fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Rinse trimmed asparagus stalks, and shake dry, leaving them damp. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant and starting to turn golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for two minutes, stirring with the wooden spoon. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce and lemon juice. Carefully pour over the asparagus, and stir once to disperse the sauce. Cover with a lid (or a baking sheet if pan is too large for a lid), and let steam for two minutes.

Meanwhile, mix honey and mustard in the small bowl. Uncover the asparagus and stir. Drizzle or spoon the honey mustard mixture over the asparagus and cook until a glaze just starts to form (it will thicken as it cools), about two more minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a platter and serve.


Vendor Winner

Rockwich, Traverse City

Asparagus and Ramp Street Corn with Candied Bacon

Ingredients: local asparagus, candied bacon, local asparagus, ramps, organic corn, jalapeno, pepper, cheese


People’s Choice

James Washburne, Scalawags Whitefish & Chips, Traverse City

Asiago Asparagus Soup with Roasted Garlic