The next time you see fresh asparagus at the grocer’s or farmer’s market, think about trying this delicious, savory soup. It makes a lovely first course with fish for a light, healthy meal.
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60 per serving
- 3 pounds asparagus, half inch of tough ends removed and discarded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped coarsely
- 4 cup chicken or vegetable stock, (plus 2 cups more)
- 1 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche
- 2 teaspoons preserved lemons, inner pulp discarded, skin finely chopped (can sub 1 tsp. lemon juice plus 1 tsp. lemon zest)
- 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoons black pepper
Remove tough ends from asparagus. Slice the top inch off asparagus tips by slicing diagonally into thin slivers. Set tips aside for soup garnish. Cut remaining stalk into 1/2-inch long pieces.
In a soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the 1/2-inch asparagus pieces (still reserving the tips for garnish) and cook asparagus until tender, about 8 minutes. Take off heat and add the extra 2 cups of room temperature stock to help it cool.
Working in batches, puree the soup by filling a blender no more than 2/3 full. Puree the soup until very smooth and light, 2 to 3 minutes per batch on high speed. NOTE: If soup is still hot, it could spit from the blender; take care by holding the lid on with a towel and venting the lid slightly if possible. Strain soup through a strainer into another soup pot. Add 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and season with 1 Tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add asparagus tips to pureed soup. Reheat soup.
In a bowl, mix together crème fraîche with preserved lemons, salt and pepper. Add water if necessary to make the consistency of heavy cream.
Ladle soup into bowls. Put a dollop of crème fraîche in the middle of the bowl and serve immediately.