For two weeks now, I’ve been consuming a mostly liquid diet: vegetable-bound soups with crème fraîche and fresh fruit smoothies with nonfat yogurt. I’ve been even more healthy than usual. The only protein that I’ve been eating have been shrimp and eggs.
Anyway, I was never a big fan of asparagus because of the foul smell it turns your urine into. But it’s spring and beautiful outside and asparagus is everywhere, and cheap too. I’m always seeing asparagus soup on menus but I’ve never tried it myself.
For the Soup
- 1 bunch (approx. 1 lb) asparagus
- 2 Idaho potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
- 4 tarragon sprigs, leaves picked
- 2 TBS butter
- 3 TBS olive oil
- 3 TBS crème fraîche
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Cut off 1.5-inch at the ends of each asparagus, compost/discard. Cut off the heads of the asparagus and set aside. For the rest of the asparagus, roughly chop into ½-inch pieces.
In a small pot, bring salted water to boil. Add in the asparagus heads and gently boil until soft, 6-8 minutes. Remove from hot water immediately and then plunge it in cold water + ice. Once heads are cold, drain from water and set aside.
In a large pot, heat up the olive oil on medium-low heat and melt the butter. Then sweat the onions until soft and translucent. Season a little bit with salt. Add the smashed garlic cloves and tarragon leaves and continue sweating for 1 minute. Turn the heat on high and add in the chopped asparagus and potatoes. Add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Purée soup using an immersion blender and blend in the crème fraîche. Adjust seasoning. Transfer puréed soup to a clean pot and keep warm, covered.
For the Garnish
- Asparagus heads
- Croutons, as needed
- Chives, finely chopped
- Toasted pine nuts, as needed
- Tarragon leaves, as needed
Bring soup back to a simmer, adjust seasoning, and garnish with the ingredients listed above. To make your own croutons, toss cubed pieces of bread in butter on medium heat until golden. Serve immediately.