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Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup
For an ultrasmooth soup, strain it through a chinois, a conical strainer that is a favorite in restaurant kitchens. A pestle is used to push the food through the fine-mesh perforations of the chinois.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) plus 2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 3 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Snap off the tough stem ends from the asparagus spears. Cut the tips off 8 of the spears into 2-inch lengths. Set the tips aside. Chop the remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, melt the 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) butter. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chopped asparagus and the 3 cups stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pass the soup through a chinois into a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream plus more stock if needed to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Set the pan over low heat and reheat the soup to serving temperature.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt the 2 tsp. butter. Add the reserved asparagus tips and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with the asparagus tips and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.