Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cream of Asparagus Soup (Créme d'asperges)

I've never made this soup before, but I've had it twice before. My mother-in-law and my aunt from Brazil both made it, and both times they were absolutely amazing! Will had a craving for soup, and I was up for trying something new!!

I ran to the store and picked up 2 pounds of asparagus, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, and chicken stock and got started!

I rinsed the asparagus and had 3 bowls set up. On for the cut stalks, one for the tips, and one I call the "trash bowl".

I snapped off the bottom of the stalks and threw them in the trash bowl.

I cut off the tips and saved them for later as a garnish.

I cut the stalks into 1/2 inch pieces.

In a 4 quart heavy pot, I melted 2 tbsp of butter and added 1 large chopped onion. You want to sweat the onions down...

... and then add the chopped asparagus stalks.

I cooked them for 5 minutes.

I then added 5 cups of chicken stock and simmered it for 15-20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, I blanched the asparagus tips and put them aside for later. To blanch any vegetable, you cook them for 2-3 minutes in salted water and then throw them in a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking and helps keep the vibrant color.

Although most recipes call for adding the heavy cream (1/2 cup) after blending the soup, I added it before I blended it because I think it makes a smoother and lighter soup. 

I poured the soup back into the pot and kept it warm. I actually added a 1/4 tsp of fresh lemon juice, added salt/pepper to taste, and whisked in 1 tbsp of butter. Just before I served the soup, I threw the asparagus tips back into the pot to warm them.

The soup turned out so light and surprisingly creamy! 

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