Thursday, June 3, 2010
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The asparagus crop here in Oregon appears not to have been hurt by our strange spring weather. I have so much of it that I've had to research ways in which to use it. I came across an asparagus soup recipe develop by Emeril Lagasse that sounded good enough to eat. It turned out to be that and more. The soup is decidedly understated and could be elegant if served in small cups or terrines. I opted to serve bowls of it as part of a salad supper. This is a creamy soup that achieves its smoothness without the addition of large quantities of milk or cream. No part of the asparagus is wasted in its preparation. Even the woody stalks are simmered to make the both in which the other vegetables are cooked. I will make this soup again during asparagus season. It would be prohibitively expensive at other times of year. The recipe can be halved or doubled depending on your needs. This soup would also be delicious with the addition of a good curry powder. Here's the recipe as it was originally developed.
Asparagus Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
3 pounds fresh asparagus, rinsed
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup minced shallots
1 cup minced leeks, whites only, well rinsed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, garnish
1) Trim attractive top tips from asparagus, about 1 to 1-1/2-inches in length. Cut woody stem ends from each spear and reserve. Cut remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.
2) In a medium pot, bring stock to a boil. Add tough woody stems, lower heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving stock.
3) Add decorative tips to stock and blanch until tender, about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Remove with a strainer and refresh in an ice water bath. Drain on paper towels and reserve for garnish. Reserve stock.
4) In a medium stockpot, melt butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add shallots and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chopped asparagus stalks, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
5) With a hand-immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. If serving right away, return to medium heat and add cream and reserved asparagus tips. Cook, stirring, until soup is warmed through, about 3 minutes.
6) Alternatively, if serving soup later, do not add cream and let cool at room temperature (or in an ice water bath). Cover and refrigerate. Before serving, add cream and asparagus tips, and warm soup gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally. To serve, place soup in a soup tureen and sprinkle with cheese. Ladle into demi-tasse cups or small coffee or tea cups, and serve. Yield: 8 (1-cup) servings.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Asparagus and White Bean Salad - One Perfect Bite
Penne with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce - One Perfect Bite
Savory Asparagus and Goat's Cheese Tart - One Perfect Bite