Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Asparagus Soup

 1 Onion, sliced (about ¾ cup)
4 Tb butter
About 2 lbs. fresh green asparagus
6 cups water
2 tsp salt
4 Tb flour
1 cup milk
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks
Salt and white pepper to taste
4 Tb soft butter

(The onions were already cooking when the rest of the ingredients posed for this picture!)

A 3-quart heavy bottomed stainless saucepan with cover
Slotted spoons
A 3-quart bowl
Wire whip

Cook onions slowly in the butter for 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Set aside.

Slice ¼ - ½ inch off the butt end of each asparagus. Peel skin from the butt ends up to where the green begins and remove scales. Wash thoroughly in warm water. Cut the tops 3 inches long and set aside. Cut lower part of the stalks into ¾-inch crosswise pieces.

Bring water to a rapid boil and add the salt. Add the asparagus stalks and boil slowly, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove and drain, reserving the water and stir the stalks into the cooked onions. Cover the onions and stalks and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Meanwhile bring the water back to the boil, add the reserved asparagus tops and boil slowly, uncovered, for 8 minutes, until just tender. Remove immediately and drain, reserving the water.

After the stalks and onions have stewed together for 5 minutes, uncover the pan, stir in the flour to mix thoroughly and cook slowly, stirring, for 1 minute to cook the flour. Remove from heat and blend in about half a cup of the hot blanching water. Gradually stir in the rest of the water, being sure not to add any sand that may have settled to the bottom of the pan. Simmer slowly, partially covered, for about 25 minutes or until the stalks are very tender. Stir in the milk.

Line up the blanched asparagus tops and cut the tip ends into ¼-inch crosswise slices; reserve as a garnish.

Puree the rest of the tops and the soup base in the vitamix, pouring the puree into the bowl. If need to, pass the puree through a sieve to strain out any fibers. 

Pour the cream into the saucepan, blend in the egg yolks with a wire whip.

By driblets, beat in about 2 cups of the hot soup. 

Pour in the rest of the soup, and the sliced tip ends.

The soup may be prepared up to this point, cooled and then covered and refrigerated.

Shortly before serving, set over moderate heat and stir slowly with a wooden spoon, reaching all over the bottom of the pan until sop comes almost to the simmer. Remove from heat carefully correct seasoning and stir in the soft butter, a tablespoon at a time. Serve immediately.

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