Chilled Asparagus Soup with Salmon, Lotus Root, Shaved Fennel & Golden Beets

The previous asparagus soup wasn’t as green as I had hoped so in this recipe, I added parsley purée to it and it was much greener.

There is a dish at work that is beautifully presented — before you pour in the cold soup. At school, in garde manger, we always waste so much cut food at the end of the night so I brought home the shaved fennel that we didn’t use so I wouldn’t need to buy it myself!

[100% organic, farmed salmon from Norway]

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
  • ½ cup parsley leaves, fully packed
  • 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. Roughly chop into ½-inch pieces, including the heads.

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.

In a blender, add the parsley leaves and a little bit of water to get the blender going. Remove and set aside.

Purée soup using an immersion blender and blend in the crème fraîche and parsley purée. Adjust seasoning. Transfer puréed soup to a clean pot and cool over an ice bath. When cool, refrigerate until needed.

For the Garnish

  • Chives, finely chopped
  • Chervil, as needed
  • Salmon sashimi, cut into small rectangles
  • 1 small lotus root
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved with mandolin, reserve the fronds
  • 1 small golden beet

For the lotus root, peel and then shave with a mandolin. Make sure to place shaved lotus root in a bowl with water and a little bit of vinegar. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the lotus root for a couple of minutes. Drain and cool in an ice bath, drain again and set aside.

For the fennel bulb, wash and remove damaged areas. Reserve the fronds for later. Cut off the root/stem and then, using a mandolin, shave the fennel to very thin pieces. Place in water and ice. The iced water will help the fennel shavings to curl.

For the golden beet, slice it very thinly by using a mandolin. Then place in ice water and set aside.

TO ASSEMBLE

Wrap a lotus root shaving around a piece of salmon and arrange in a cold soup bowl. Place fennel shavings in the middle and scatter chervil, chopped chives, sliced beets, and garnish with fennel fronds.

In a separate container/pot/ramekin, place cold soup in it and serve by pouring asparagus soup into bowl with garniture.

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