We’re shining a light on seasonal British asparagus — what better way to mark National Asparagus Day on 23 April?

Creamy asparagus soup (V)

A fantastic prep-ahead starter, or a midweek lunchtime treat

Feeds 4 • Ready in 30 mins

  • 1 tbsp Co-op olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 Co-op British leek, chopped
  • 500g Co-op British asparagus, roughly chopped
  • 700ml vegetable stock, made with 1 stock cube
  • 50ml Co-op double cream
  • 4 Co-op British free range eggs
  • 4 slices Co-op Irresistible sourdough bloomer
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  1. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the onion, celery and leek for 4 mins, until soft. Add the asparagus and fry for 2 mins.
  2. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 mins. Add the double cream, reserving a little to serve. Remove from the heat, then blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Cover the soup and keep warm while you poach the eggs — two at a time if need be.
  3. Meanwhile, rub the sourdough slices on both sides with the cut side of the garlic, then brush with the remaining olive oil. Toast or griddle the bread until golden and crisp.
  4. Divide the warm soup between four bowls, then top each one with a poached egg. Season with black pepper, then drizzle over a little extra olive oil and the reserved cream. Serve with the garlic toast on the side for dipping.

Asparagus, prosciutto & Parmesan pasta

Easy, elegant and full of flavour

Feeds 4 • Ready in 20 mins

  • 400g Co-op spaghetti
  • 500g Co-op British asparagus, chopped into 4cm pieces
  • 80g pack Co-op prosciutto crudo, roughly torn
  • 5 tbsp Co-op olive oil
  • 90g Co-op Parmesan wedge, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, put the asparagus on a roasting tray and nestle the prosciutto around it. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, then roast until the prosciutto is crisp and the asparagus is tender — about 10 mins.
  3. Drain the spaghetti, reserving 80ml of the cooking water, then return to the pan with the reserved water. Add most of the Parmesan and the rest of the oil. Beat until you have a silky sauce. Stir in the parsley, lemon zest, asparagus and prosciutto, then serve sprinkled with the reserved cheese.

Filo wrapped asparagus

This recipe is a great way to use up any bread you have that’s past its best

Makes 12 • Ready in 40 mins

  • 40g bread, crust removed (we used Co-op Irresistible sourdough bloomer)
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, leaves only
  • 30g Co-op Parmesan wedge, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 sheets filo pastry
  • 40g Co-op unsalted butter, melted
  • 12 spears Co-op British asparagus
  • 1 tbsp balsamic Co-op glaze
  • 5 tbsp Co-op reduced fat mayonnaise
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Blitz the bread, flat leaf parsley, grated Parmesan and the garlic in a food processor until you have a fine crumb.
  2. Cut the filo sheets into quarters and cover with a damp cloth, so they don’t dry out. Brush one piece with some butter and scatter over a thin, even layer of the crumb mixture.
  3. Position an asparagus spear at an angle on the bottom corner of the filo square and roll it up. Transfer to a baking sheet and brush with a little more of the butter. Repeat for the remaining filo and asparagus.
  4. Bake for 20 mins, or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Meanwhile, put the balsamic glaze in a small bowl and stir through the mayonnaise. Serve with the asparagus for dipping.