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Cream of Asparagus Soup

How to cook: Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is regarded as a delicacy in many parts of France and Spain and is often simply steamed and served with a vinaigrette for dipping. This delicious, creamy soup is another wonderful way to cook and eat it.

Ingredients:

750 g asparagus

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 leeks, well washed and thinly sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

1 litre chicken stock

freshly grated nutmeg

150 ml double cream

sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

a mouli (optional)

Directions:

Cut the tips off 8 asparagus spears and reserve. Chop the rest into 2-cm pieces.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan, add the leeks and onion, cover and saute over gentle heat for 10 minutes. Add the chopped asparagus, stock and a pinch of nutmeg, season well with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

Transfer to a blender, puree until smooth, then, using the back of a ladle, push through a sieve set over a bowl. Alternatively use a mouli. Add two-thirds of the cream to the bowl and stir well. Return the soup to the saucepan and heat gently when ready to serve (do not let boil)

Cook the reserved asparagus tips in boiling water until just tender. Ladle the soup into bowls, spoon the remaining cream on top, add the asparagus tips and another pinch of nutmeg, then serve.

makes 4 servings

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