Monday, March 30, 2009

April in Paris...Creme of Asparagus Soup

Pin It When I think of April, I think of Paris, and when I think of April in Paris I think of asparagus, white and green, on every menu, in every restaurant of that wonderful city. Some of us may not be able to eat there this Spring, but we can surely bring Paris, and April into our kitchen. The following is a wonderful creme of asparagus soup from Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris. It's simple, it's easy, it's authentic and very economical. I just bought two bunches of asparagus for $1.98/lbs at Milam's this afternoon and in less than an hour, we were enjoying this wonderful soup for dinner!

Creme D'Asperges, Restaurant Guy Savoy

Serves 4
Active Time: 20 min Start to finish: 50 min

2 lbs green asparagus, trimmed
1 large onion, chopped
3 TB unsalted butter
Salt and White Pepper
5 to 6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy creme
1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Cut tips from 12 asparagus 1 1/2 inches from top and halve tips lengthwise if thick. Reserve for garnish. Cut stalks and all remaining asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces.

Cook onion in 2 TB butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring until soft. Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper to taste (I added white pepper which has a wonderful taste in soups) then cook stirring 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth and simmered, covered, until asparagus is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

While soup simmers, cook reserved asparagus tips in boiling salted water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and set aside.

When the soup has cooled down a little bit, puree soup in batches in a blender until smooth, transferring to a bowl and return to pan. Stir in creme fraiche or heavy cream. If you find the soup is too thick (I didn't), add more broth to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Bring soup to a boil and whisk in remaining tablespoon of butter.

Add lemon juice and garnish with asparagus tips.

Cook's Note
Soup keeps, covered and chilled, 2 days. If making ahead, add last tablespoon of butter and lemon juice after reheating. Don't miss adding the lemon juice to this soup... it's only a few drops, but it makes a difference.

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