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Archive for Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Asparagus flavors spring soup

May 7, 2008

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This delicious soup from McClatchy Newspapers takes advantage of the relatively low price this time of year for asparagus:

Cream of spring soup

1 1/2 pounds asparagus

4 cups chicken broth

Coarse salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup flour

White pepper

2 teaspoons each chopped chive, chervil and dill

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Lemon

Snap the woody bottom off each asparagus stalk and discard. Clean stalks with a vegetable peeler. Trim off tips and set aside. Settle stalks in a large saucepan. Pour in broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until very soft, 40-45 minutes. Don't be alarmed by long cooking time. It's necessary to a smooth soup. Meanwhile, drop asparagus tips into fast-boiling, lightly salted water and cook until bright green and just tender, 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Blend: Using a food processor, immersion blender or the standard sort, swirl smooth broth and stalks. Keep warm. Thicken: In a large heavy saucepan melt butter. Add flour and whisk, without browning, 2 minutes. Pour in pureed stock all at once and bring to a boil. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened, 5 minutes. Season soup with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Stir in herbs, cream and reserved asparagus tips. Serves six.

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