Level: Very Easy
Time: 50 minutes (including five minutes cooking)
450g (1lb) green asparagus spears
700ml (3 cups) good quality vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, finely chopped
30g (2 tbsp) butter
1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
120ml (½ cup) dry white onion (optional)
120ml (½) cup whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice, about half a lemon
4 tbsp cream or crème fraîche
1. Rinse the spears thoroughly to remove any grit or soil.
2. Break off the tough white ends of the stalks. Peel any very thick spears using a potato peeler. (This is usually only necessary with very thick spears.)
3. Place the tough spear ends and any peelings in a saucepan and add the vegetable or chicken stock. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Strain the liquid off into a jug and reserve. Discard the peelings and stalk ends.
4. Pick out your 8 nicest looking spears to use later as a garnish.
5. Chop the remaining asparagus spears into 2-3 cm (1”) lengths.
Sautéed chopped onion
6. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat and cook the chopped onion for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until it is softened without colouring.
7. Stir the chopped asparagus into the onion mixture, then put a lid on and let it sweat for about 10 minutes, giving it a stir now and then.
8. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour and stir thoroughly.
9. Add the saved liquid, a little at a time, stirring after each addition.
10. When all the liquid has been added, add the white wine and the whipping cream and season with salt and pepper. Keeping the heat low, let the soup barely simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
11. Let the soup cool a bit and then pour it into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Adjust the seasoning.
12. Add the reserved asparagus spears and re-heat gently for 3-4 minutes until the spears are cooked, but still with some bite.
13. Pour into warm bowls, garnish each dish with a tablespoon of cream or crème fraîche and a little freshly milled black pepper.
– The soup can also be served chilled
– Instead of cooking the reserved spears as in step 12, steam them for three to four minutes and add them as a garnish.
This recipe was originally published on food writer John Duxbury’s Swedish Food website.