1) Clean and prepare the
asparagus stalks (cut them into 1/4″ pieces) and cut off
the tops and reserve the most
attractive tips for garnishing the soup).
2) Heat the butter in a
small stock pot or large sauce pan.
3) Add the leeks and cook, stirring often,
until they are very wilted and soft, but not
browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add
the chopped asparagus, salt, and stock.
4) Bring to a boil and then reduce to a
simmer. Cook for about 5-6 minutes. The
asparagus should be cooked until
tender, soft enough that it can be finely
pureed but still green (not grey
5) Blend the soup well. Scoop or strain the
vegetables out of the liquid.
6) Place the vegetables in the blender or food
processor. Add just enough liquid
so that the vegetables will puree.
the smooth puree to a bowl. Stir in the remaining stock, tasting as you go.
you think the flavor balance is good before you’ve
added all of the stock, don’t
add any more. If you
think the flavor of the soup is a bit strong, add a bit of water.
8) If you’re
serving the soup cold, chill it. If you’re serving it hot, reserve
until you’re ready to serve it, but don’t
reheat it until just before serving.
Finishing the Soup:
1) Add a dash of freshly ground pepper. Then balance the seasoning of
with lemon juice and salt. Add a squeeze of lemon, then add salt to
back and forth, cautiously, with the lemon and salt until the soup
has a bright
but round asparagus flavor. (It won’t need much of either.)
2) Place the soup in serving bowls and add a dollop
of the cream mixture.
3) Divide the reserved asparagus tips between the bowls.
4) Sprinkle the zests of lemon
rind over the top.
1) Ends of Asparagus stalks, chopped into 1′ lengths
2) 1 cup Green Leek tops, chopped into 1/2″ lengths
3) 1 Bay Leaf
4) 1 medium Carrot, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
5) 1 Celery Stalk, chopped into 1″ pieces
6) 4 Parsley Sprigs
7) 1/4 teaspoon Salt
8) 5 cups cold Water
1) Snap off the tough root
ends of the asparagus stalks. To do this, hold a stalk
below the tip and at the
root end. Bend the stalk until it snaps apart.
2) Use the root ends for your stock
and the greener and the top section for the soup
3) Combine the
prepared stock ingredients in a deep saucepan or small stock pot.
4) Bring to a
boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Strain.
1) Zested peel and juice of 1/2 Meyer Lemon, regular Lemon, or regular Lemon
2) 1/4 cup Cream
3) 2 tablespoons Sour Cream, Labne (Kefir Cheese),
1) Blanch the reserved asparagus tips in salted water for 1-2 minutes so they’re
just tender but still
2) Grate the rind from half a lemon and reserve.
3) Whip 1/4 cup cream
lightly, until soft peaks form.
4) Whisk in the sour cream, Labne, or yogurt.
5) Season with salt. Reserve.
*Note* I use pencil-thin
asparagus for this soup. Larger asparagus has a thicker skin
and fibers around
it. If your asparagus is very large and thick, you might find
your best chopping efforts, you want to strain the soup before