Puree of Fresh Asparagus Soup with Lemon Cream

from the Inn at Little Washington Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 8.04.58 AM

My favorite springtime soup.

Serves 6

¼ c. butter
1 medium size onion, coarsely chopped
2 leeks chopped
2 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
3 medium-size Idaho potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves, crumbled
2 qts chicken stock
2 lbs aparagus
3 T. olive oil
1 c, heavy cream
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lemon Cr3am

½ c. heavy cream
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. grated lemon zest
pinch of sugar

In a 4 qt heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat Add the onion, leeks, and celery and cook until tender but not browned.. Add the potatoes and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a separate saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add the boiling stock to the veggies and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15-20 minutes. While the soup is simmering, remove and discard any tough white ends from the asparagus. Wash the stalks and cut into 1” pieces In a 10” skillet especially bought at Target for this purpose, heat the oil over very high heat. Saute the asparagus in three batches, cooking only until it turns a brilliant green but is still very firm. Reserve the cooked asparagus in a bowl, then add it to the simmering soup all at once. Cook the soup about 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is just barely tender but still bright green. Remove the soup from the heat and puree in small batches in a blender. Strain. Add the cream to taste and return to the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a dollop of lemon cream — recipe below.

Lemon Cream: Makes 1 cup. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream, lemon juice and zest and sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.

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