Easy-peasy to make, that’s what this soup is — only it’s made with asparagus and not peas. We’ve been enjoying some beatifically balmy, very warm weather the last week or so but until then it was raining far too much. Gloomy days that cast a pall on busy lives can be enlivened by certain foods, but only on condition that they also be quick to prepare — otherwise, that would only make matters worse! So what better way to regain a more tolerant view of the quotidian than to make a velvety asparagus soup that simply glides down the gullet without requiring any chomping, hey?
Ingredients: asparagus, olive oil, onion, peppercorn, chicken stock or water, parmesan cheese, cream or milk, Mixed herbs.
Take a look.
Roughly chop an onion and let it sweat gently in some olive oil and sprinkle a tiny amount of sugar over it. Add a peppercorn too (I do).Here are the asparagus …
Snap them in half with your fingers (I can’t snap the asparagus and the photo at the same time, but I hope you get the idea). As you can see … the asparagus tend to snap at a crucial point of their anatomy … you keep the green and you throw away the hard, inedible stem. Thank you, my dear friend ‘Lippy’, for teaching me this trick! Do, however, use a knife or even a pair of scissors to cut up the asparagus into two or three parts. Wash them to remove any trace of dirt or soil …. And add them to the onion. Cook them for a couple of minutes, add a little bit of salt and mix well. Then add some chicken stock, if you have any, or just plain water. I was using some freshly made chicken stock and used the little sieve to catch any bits and pieces I didn’t necessarily want in the asparagus soup, In terms of liquid, it’s a good idea to think 250ml per person. In terms of common sense …. I poured the equivalent of about 1 lt of chicken stock over the asparagus … and it looked ‘enough’. If it had not, I would have added extra water.
Place a lid on the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.Grate some parmesan cheese. Pour as little or as much cream into a glass. If you don’t have cream, milk will do I suppose.
When the asparagus is cooked, use an immersion blender to mush it all up. Add the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese per person (in this case 4) and some chopped herbs of your choice (the humble parsely in this picture). Mix well. Add the cream. Stir …. Taste … and see whether it needs a bit more salt, and pepper. White pepper if you have it. A few mint leaves in the middle … And here is your luscious, creamy, made in about 20 minutes, velvety asparagus soup.