Spring Asparagus Soup
The arrival of Spring also means the arrival of Asparagus! This soup is the perfect vehicle for it. Bright, light, velvety and a little rich, my Spring Asparagus soup makes a great lunch or first course for a dinner. Enjoy it warm or cold.
2 pounds fresh asparagus, cut into small pieces. Reserve some of the tips for garnish.
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup diced onion (1 large or 2 medium)
1/2 cup diced shallots (3-4 shallots)
1/4 cup olive oil
4-5 cups chicken stock (can use vegetable stock)
1 cup heavy cream
Salt & Pepper
Heat the olive oil, onions and shallots, pinch of salt and pepper over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the asparagus and potatoes along with another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook two to 3 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green. Add 4-5 cups of chicken stock then bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
While the soup is simmering, blanch the asparagus tip. To blanch, bring a small pan of salted water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water at the ready. Plunge the tips in the boiling water for 30 seconds or until they turn bright green. Take them out of the boiling water and put directly into the ice water, which will stop the cooking. Take them out of the water and drain. Reserve to use for garnish.
Once the vegetables are very tender, remove from the heat and puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender. Once blended, put back over a very low heat and add the cream to your desired thickness. Taste for seasonings and serve. Garnish with the blanched asparagus tips.
Other garnish ideas:
Crispy bacon crumbles
Sour cream or crème fraiche