Cream of Asparagus Soup
Makes 4 - 6 servings
- 2 lbs medium asparagus (2 bunches), cut in half crosswise
- 1 T plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 6 T unsalted butter
- 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 7 T all-purpose flour
- 3 parsley sprigs
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 T dry white vermouth
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a medium bowl with salted ice water. Working in 2 batches, add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to the bowl of ice water. Drain. Reserve 7 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.
- Thinly slice 18 of the asparagus tips on the diagonal and reserve for a garnishing the soup. Chop the remaining asparagus spears into small pieces.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes more.
- Pour in the reserved asparagus cooking liquid and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine and add to the soup. Lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped asparagus and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the asparagus mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the asparagus soup.
- Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.
- Whisk the heavy cream, vermouth, and salt into the soup and season with pepper.
- Divide among warm soup bowls, sprinkle each soup with the reserved asparagus tips, and serve immediately.
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