Saturday, April 7, 2007

Cream of Asparagus Soup

  • 1 large potato
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 pounds asparagus, 2-inch tops set aside and stems chopped
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, whole
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • Grated zest of 1 orange, plus more for garnish
  • White pepper, ground

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Bake the potato until it is easily pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to one hour. Remove it from the oven and set aside to cool.

3. Melt the butter in a stockpot. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt and stir well. Cover and let simmer until golden. Add the bay leaves, asparagus stems, and another teaspoon of salt.

4. Add the parsley and peppercorns, mix well, and add the wine and half of the stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the asparagus begins to fall apart.

5. The baked potato should have cooled sufficiently to handle. Scrape the potato from the skin and place in a food processor. Purée the potato until it is creamy and thin, adding a little vegetable stock as necessary. Remove from the food processor and set aside.

6. When the asparagus is ready, purée it in batches. Press it through a strainer. Discard any stringy fiber that may remain.

7. Pour the asparagus purée, the potato purée, the remaining vegetable stock, the grated nutmeg, and the orange zest into the stockpot. Whisk until everything is well incorporated. Set aside while you steam the asparagus tips.

8. Fill a saucepan with 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, add the asparagus tips. Stir, cover, and blanch for about 2 minutes. Strain the asparagus tips.

9. Add the tips to the soup. Stir well, cover, and let it reach a simmer.

10. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning with salt and white pepper to taste.

11. To serve, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and grated orange zest.

from S.O.U.P.S.: Seattle's Own Undeniably Perfect Soups 8 servings 1 1/2 hours prep time

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