Monday, April 10, 2006

Asparagus Soup, Hot or Chilled

I've been in an asparagus mood lately. Not that I am ever not in a mood for asparagus -- it's one of my favorite veggies. But since it's spring, I just can't get enough of it. I've been experimenting with asparagus soups for years. I've tried it with leeks one year, with potato another, until I finally stripped it down to its bare essentials. This year, I am going for the minimalist approach. This is the fastest and simplest soup I've ever seen. It's perfect chilled, but if the spring weather is not cooperating, you can always warm it up.
Serves 8 as the first course

2 Lb asparagus
4 cups water
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
1/4 cup cream, plus more for serving
  1. Trim asparagus by breaking the tough ends of the stems (1-2 inches). They'll naturally snap in the spot where they become tender. Cut asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces crosswise.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot. Add 1 Tbsp salt and 1/2 tsp of the lime juice (reserving another 1/2 tsp for later).
  3. When the water boils, add asparagus, cover and bring to a boil, about 2 minutes. Cook until almost tender, 1-2 minutes. Take off heat immediately. Cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup cream and puree the soup in a blender until completely smooth.
  5. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tsp lime juice and more salt if needed.
  6. Chill for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
  7. To serve, pour hot or chilled soup into bowls. Pour a little cream into a soup spoon and gently pour it in a circle over soup holding the spoon very close to soup's surface. Make decorative swirls with a fork and serve.
Variations: Add a handful of mint or cilantro to the soup before pureeing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious. As a variation, how about reserving the cooked asparagus tips and dividing them among the bowls of pureed soup--a nice garnish on top.

Ivonne said...

Helen,

I love it! And the bowl is gorgeous. I know how you feel about asparagus. We're huge fans and at this time of year we have it a couple times a week.

Wonderful recipe!