Asparagus soup recipe
Asparagus with its long reaching shoots of green epitomizes spring. Green, tasty, and tender, asparagus is excellent when simply sautéed in butter, but asparagus makes a lovely soup as well.
When buying asparagus, look for firm unwrinkled bright green stems and tightly closed heads with a purplish tinge. Toward the bottom ends of the spear, the color will begin to fade to white. To store asparagus break off the bottom ends and put them upright in a dish of water like cut flowers.
1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus spears
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion
2 large shallots
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Crème fraiche or sour cream
Wash and dry the asparagus. Cut off and discard the white bottoms and trim off the tips. Set the tips aside and chop the green spears into big pieces.
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil. Chop the onion and shallot and sauté them in the oil for about 10 minutes until nicely caramelized. Now add the chopped asparagus and sauté for 3 more minutes. Next you will add the wine and 1 cup of the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Turn down heat, cover and simmer gently for about half an hour. The asparagus should be very tender at this point.
Allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes and then puree in a blender. Do this in batches to make the process easier. Return the pureed soup to the stock pot and add the remaining 2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring back to simmering and season with salt and pepper. Add the asparagus tips and cook for 5 more minutes.
Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche floating in the center of the soup and sprinkled with chopped chives.
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