CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP
1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
6 cups water
1 pound red potatoes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
about 1 cup milk
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground white pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons freshly snipped chives
Rinse the asparagus free of sand and grit. Snap off coarse ends, trim off and reserve the asparagus tips. Cut the stem into 1" lengths.
Bring water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Peel the potatoes, quarter them and add them with the asparagus stems to the water. Cook slowly for 12 minutes, or until the asparagus is just tender.
Melt the butter in a skillet. When foam subsides, add the onion and saute slowly for 2-3 minutes. Put in the garlic and cook another minute. Sieve the tender asparagus stalks into the skillet to stew for 5 minutes. Place the asparagus tips in the simmering water until just tender then remove and reserve. Remove the potato pieces, coarsely chop them and add to the stewing stems. Measure the asparagus cooking water. Add enough milk to measure 5 cups.
Put the contents of the skillet through a food mill adding asparagus broth as needed to rinse through the puree. Heat the combined asparagus, potato and broth in the saucepan.
Just prior to serving, combine egg yolks and cream in a small bowl. Whisk in some of the hot soup, then return the enrichment to the pan. Stir and continue heating until the soup thickens (180 degrees). Add the asparagus tips. Season with salt, white pepper and lemon juice. The asparagus taste should be full bodied and creamy with just the hint of sourness.
Serve in warmed bowls with a generous sprinkling of fresh chives.
Yield: 6 servings
Copyright © 2009 Chez Madelaine.
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