This Spring Asparagus Soup with Herbs is a pretty green soup and is a version of one of Deborah Madison’s great recipes. It’s perfect when springtime asparagus appear, and couldn’t be simpler to make or more delicious to eat!
1. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus about 1-inch from the root end. Put these ends into a pot with water, reserved scallion greens, bouquet garni, and ½ teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, and then simmer while you prepare everything else. If you’re not ready to use the stock after 25 minutes, strain it and set aside.
2. While the stock is cooking, cut off the flowered tips of the asparagus cover them with cold water, and set aside to soak, agitating the water occasionally to get rid of any sand. Peel the remaining middles of the asparagus and chop them into ½-inch chunks.
3. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the chopped scallions, asparagus middles, and potato. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook over medium-high heat for several minutes, just until the butter begins to brown a bit. Pour the hot stock through a strainer right into the pot if you haven’t strained it already, then simmer for 8 minutes. Puree in small batches until smooth. Strain the pureed soup into a clean pot. Press the soup and any chunky bits through the strainer. Taste for salt and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with a little white pepper and heat through.
4. Simmer the asparagus tips in a little salted water until tender, about 4 minutes, then drain. Add them to the soup just before serving, and top with the herb garnish.
- 1½ pounds asparagus, washed
- 5 cups water
- 2 large bunches scallions, whites end chopped (about 2 cups), and green stems reserved
- 1 bouquet garni: a few parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf and 1 thyme sprig
- 1½ teaspoons sea salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¾ cup peeled and very thinly sliced potato
- White pepper, to taste
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Spring Herb Garnish
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon leaves
- 1 tablespoon shredded Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives