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Asparagus Soup

Original recipe from Around my French Table
kept bybeberequin
recipe by

2½ pounds asparagus
1 Kosher salt or other 2 coarse salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, split lengthwise, washed, and sliced
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, sliced
1 garlic clove, split and sliced
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Crème fraîche
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the asparagus from about an inch below their tips and trim. Cut the spears in half. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Toss the asparagus into the boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Scoop the asparagus out of the pot and into the colander (don't discard the cooking liquid), run the asparagus under cold water for a minute to cool them down, and then cover them with the ice cubes; set aside in the sink or a bowl. Discard the trimmings; reserve 6 cups of the cooking liquid.
  3. Dry the pot, add the oil and butter, and warm over low heat. Toss in the leeks, onion, shallot, and garlic, season with salt and white pepper, and stir everything around until it glistens. Cover the pot and cook gently for about 15 minutes, until the onion and its companions are very soft but not colored.
  4. Pour in the reserved cooking liquid and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat so that it simmers, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, toss in the asparagus, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  5. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. For a finer, even more elegant soup, run the soup through a strainer. Taste the soup for salt and pepper, reheat it very, very gently if you're serving it hot, or chill it to serve cold. At serving time, top with a spoonful of crème fraîche. If you'd like, sprinkle the cream with chives.



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