Sunday, March 11, 2012

Creamy Asparagus Soup


Nothing sings of spring like fresh asparagus, spring onions and herbs. I spotted some gorgeous fresh asparagus at Whole Foods and decided to make a little soup as it was uncharacteristically cold and rainy this weekend. The recipe is simple and satisfying and so easy to make. 

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch of asparagus spears, tough stems removed, reserve a few for garnish.
1 medium Idaho potato, peeled and cubed
2 spring onion bulbs, white part only
1 small shallot
2 chopped cloves of garlic
4 cups low sodium chicken broth or homemade broth (I like Whole Foods 360 or Central Market Organics in the carton).
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp Better than Bullion chicken stock for seasoning
dash of white wine (optional)
1 tbs olive oil
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1  bay leaf

In a pot, add olive oil, shallots, onions and garlic and turn heat to medium low. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add a dash of white wine if you prefer to add some depth. Turn up the heat and add the potato, stock, bullion, thyme and bay leaf. Cook on med-high about 15 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until they are softened, about 10 more minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Then in small batches, puree the soup in a blender. I really like a silky soup, so I then strained it through a Chinois strainer into a clean pot. Add a touch of cream or a little more stock if you'd like and re-warm. Garnish with asparagus spears, creme fraiche, herbs such as thyme or tarragon, or croutons. This goes great with slices of french bread, smeared with goat cheese and browned under the broiler for about 3 minutes. 

Soup lasts two days in the refrigerator. Happy Spring!!

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