Cream of Asparagus Soup

by Food Hound on March 30, 2014

in Appetizers, Soups and Stews

Post image for Cream of Asparagus Soup

Last night, the Booze Hound and I went to Cityview Magazine’s Top Chefs Knoxville 2014.  This means two things:

1. I continue to be impressed by the execution, creativity, and all-around skills of Knoxville chefs.  Well done, gents!  And ladies… ladies?  We need to see more lady chefs!  I know you are out there!!

2. I ate.  A lot.  More than a lot.  In fact, saying I ate a lot is like saying Bruce Jenner has had just a little but of plastic surgery.  I mean, I threw it down.  I came to play.  I ate all those meals, all those desserts, undid my belt, attempted to recline in my straight-back chair as much as is acceptable for a lady, then deposited my ballot with pride at the end of the night.

I always leave this event (one of my favorites of the year!!) brimming with food inspiration.  Clearly, I also leave this event brimming with food.  Therefore, the day after the event needs to include food of a lighter nature, but no less inspiring.

A perfect day for Cream of Asparagus Soup.

While not exactly an earth-shatteringly creative meal– there are no foie-gras-and-cotton-candy lollipops (still trying to figure out how I feel about those since I ate one last night…)– it’s asparagus season.  And great meals that highlight seasonal produce are always inspiring.  Plus, we all know how I feel about pureed soups.  (Spoiler: I LOVE THEM.)

This soup is simple, light, and delicious.  Nothing masks the delicate asparagus flavor, yet everything contributes to the overall beauty of this soup.  I have served large bowls of this with baguette as a light dinner, small bowls of this as a side dish to a more substantial grilled dinner, and someday, when I decide to have sit-down dinner parties with multiple courses on my fancy dishes (read: when I’m done having babies), I will serve this as a delicate first course.  Tonight, it’s going with a gorgeous salad I CANNOT WAIT to try (chant it with me: fu-ture POST! Fu-ture POST!).

Welcome to the Food Hound, where a simple, fabulous cream soup is part of food binge recovery.

Cream of Asparagus Soup
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 bunches of asparagus (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (the good stuff!!) for serving- lots and lots!
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and shallots + a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the onions and shallots start to caramelize.
  2. While the onions and shallots are cooking, prepare your asparagus. Trim the bottom 1-2 inches of the stalks (they are woody and fibrous- not what you want in your delicate soup!) and discard. Chop asparagus stalks into 1-inch segments and set aside.
  3. Add the asparagus stalks to the onions and sauté for about a minute. Add the chicken stock (a range of 4-6 cups based on how thick you like your soup), bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until creamy (or add the entire pot to a blender, puree, then return to the pot). Return soup to a gentle simmer to reheat, then add the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper (start with about 1 tsp of each, knowing that the mountain of parm you add will also add saltiness!). Serve with lots of grated parm.

 

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