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An extremely flavoursome soup that brings out the taste of the asparagus superbly.
- 1kg asparagus
- 100g floury potato (1)
- 35g shallot (1) or onion (¼)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 700ml of chicken or vegetable stock
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of semi-whipped whipping cream or double cream
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
- Hold the asparagus at either end and snap it where it naturally breaks. Put the green tip ends to one side, chop up the woody ends into about 2cm pieces and put them in a pan with the chicken stock. Bring the chicken stock to the boil, cook for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the stock to infuse.
- Peel and chop the potato and shallot/onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
- Heat the oil over a low to medium heat in a large saucepan. When the butter has melted, add the shallot/onion.
- Cook the shallot/onion until it has become soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, add the potato and cook for a further 2 minutes, then pour the infused stock made in stage 1 into the pan through a sieve, discarding the woody asparagus ends.
- Bring it to the boil and cook for 10 minutes with the lid on the pan.
- With the remaining asparagus, cut off the tips (the top 3cm, where the flower head is) and put to one side. Take the remaining green asparagus and chop into 1cm- 2cm pieces.
- Add the chopped pieces of asparagus and the butter to the potato and stock, season with salt & pepper, bring it back to the boil and cook for 3 minutes.
- Check that the potato is cooked by sticking a knife into one, if it goes through easily, the potatoes are cooked.
- Add the asparagus tips and cook for one minute.
- Ladle some of the contents of the pan into a liquidizer, until the liquidizer is ¼ full and then blend it for about a minute until it is a uniform green with none (or very few) bits.
- Pour the contents of the liquidizer into a sieve over another clean pan and then refill the liquidizer to ¼. (Filling a liquidizer with too much hot liquid can cause the liquid to explode out of the top in a spectacular fashion, regardless of the strength of your liquidizers lid. It is best to err on the side of caution and do several small batches, rather than cover yourself and your kitchen with boiling hot soup.)
- When all of the soup has been blended and pushed through a sieve, gently reheat the soup and stir it continuously as it can very easily stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Then add the cream, check the seasoning and then ladle it into bowls and serve.
- This soup is best served straight away, but if you are reheating the soup, do not boil it as this can cause it to lose some of its flavour and it may stick to the bottom of the pan. Heat it gently until it is just hot.
- You could keep back a few of the asparagus tips in stage 10, fry them in a bit of butter for 1 minute and use them as a garnish.