Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 qt vegetable, chicken or veal stock
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup hot cream
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s so flavorful and versatile, and generally easy to prepare. But you’ll want to make sure you cook it properly so that it retains its color and texture. Basically, you want to avoid overcooking it.
To my mind, there are two types of asparagus: skinny, and fat. Both are good, but it depends on what you’re using them for.
There are so many ways to use fresh asparagus when it’s in season, and this classic cream of asparagus soup is one of my favorites. I like to use fresh thyme in the soup, but fresh tarragon or chives would also be really good.
Trim about an inch off the bottoms of the asparagus stalks. Then peel the asparagus (with a potato peeler) from about two inches below the tips all the way down to the ends. Cut the asparagus into about inch-long pieces. Reserve about ¾ cup of cut asparagus pieces, including a few tips. Peel the potato and cut it into 1-inch chunks.
In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the butter over low-to-medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.
Add the stock and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the asparagus and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife.
Remove the soup from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary.
Meanwhile, sauté the reserved asparagus in a little bit of butter for about 5 to 6 minutes, just until tender but so that they still have a slight crunch to them. Set aside.
Return the puréed soup to the pot along with the fresh thyme and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary. Stir the hot cream into the soup, and season to taste with Kosher salt.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with the sautéed asparagus pieces, season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and serve right away.
Makes about 1½ quarts (6 8-oz. servings) of asparagus soup.
Author: Tom Green
If we’re not supposed to have midnight snacks, then why is there a light in the fridge?