There are some food bloggers and ethical eaters I know who will skin me alive for eating asparagus this time of year.
But hold your horses. Before you start sharpening your knives and getting ready for action let me first explain. A bunch of asparagus usually costs between £2.99 and £3.99 for a bunch that weighs 250g (½ lb) at Waitrose. Now if they were marked down to 19p a bunch, how can anyone possibly resist?
Sure, not all the spears were in mint condition. Some I had to throw away and others needed hefty trimming. This is why it’s ideal to make a soup in cases like this.
All righty then, I pleaded my case. Let me just get my running shoes and let the hunt begin…
Creamy Asparagus Soup
Preparation: 10 mins – Cooking: 25 mins
- 900g (2lb) asparagus
- 50g (2 oz) butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 litre (1¾ pints) hot chicken stock
- 150ml (5 fl oz) double [heavy] cream or crème fraîche
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- Prepare the asparagus by cutting away and discarding the tough, stringy white ends of the stalks, reserve 12 asparagus tips to garnish the soup, and then chop the green parts of the rest of the asparagus into 2.5cm (1 inch) lengths.
- Next, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat and cook the chopped onion in it for 5 minutes, keeping the heat low to prevent the onion colouring. Stir the asparagus into the melted butter and onion, then put a lid on and let it sweat for about 10 minutes, giving it a stir now and then.
- Add the chicken stock, bring to simmering point, season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and keeping the heat low, let the soup barely simmer, partially covered for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Now you need to let the soup cool a little, then pour it into a blender and blend in batches. Alternatively, use a hand blender. Taste to check the seasoning. Finally, stir in the double cream or crème fraîche and the reserved asparagus tips. Reheat gently for 3-4 minutes and serve very hot in warm soup bowls or alternatively cool and chill thoroughly before serving in chilled bowls.
I start off using less stock than stated in any given soup recipe because I like my soup of a thicker consistency. If it ends up being too thick I simply add a bit more stock at a time until I find the desired consistency.