Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Asparagus Soup

I made Asparagus Soup for the first time in Nov. '09 and made a MASSIVE mess. I followed Emeril Lagasse's recipe, and things were good until the directions stated "With a hand-immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup until smooth." Well, I don't have a hand-immersion blender so I used my blender. I should've stuck to the directions and used my food processor. Nowhere in the directions did it state to puree small batches of soup or to be careful because pureeing soup can be dangerous (I'm now finding soup sites that give this warning). I learned the hard way how NOT to blend soup. I had soup all over my counters, the tile floor and on myself. The soup explosion put burns on my chest (which turned into little blisters...ouch!) but luckily I was wearing a zip-up hoodie and it kept me from getting burns on my arms, too. This was my first attempt at making a blended soup so I had no idea what I was doing. Obviously. 

When I talked to my chef friend, Kat, about my soup incident, she said to blend soup in VERY SMALL amounts and to drape a large kitchen towel over the top to catch any soup that may explode out the sides of the lid. I also recommend wearing an apron when cooking to avoid ruining clothes when mishaps like mine occur. 
The soup that gave me blisters. It was a mellow asparagus flavor.

I gave Asparagus Soup another shot. I adapted Emeril's recipe and it turned out pretty darn good. This time, I pureed the cooked asparagus and left the soup in the pot. It turned out great!
The second version was delicious! Very "asparagussy" and seemed more filling as it was a thicker soup.

Asparagus Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 2 lb asparagus
  • 4 c chicken stock
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 4-6 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c minced leeks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • lemon juice

  1. Trim attractive tops of asparagus and set aside. Cut woody stem ends and set aside. Cut remaining stalks into 1" pieces.
  2. In large pot, bring stock to a boil. Add woody stem ends. Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes to infuse with asparagus flavor. Melt pad of butter and saute asparagus tips for 3-4 minutes. When done, set aside in a bowl.
  3. Melt remaining butter in pan and saute minced shallot, garlic, leeks, salt and pepper for 4-5 minutes. Add 1" asparagus pieces and saute with shallot mixture for another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove woody stem ends from stock and discard.
  5. CAREFULLY puree small batches of shallot/asparagus mixture in a food processor. Then add to chicken stock and stir well. If serving immediately, add cream and asparagus tips (reserve some tips to garnish soup before serving) and continue stirring until soup is warmed through.
  6. If serving soup at a later time, let cool at room temp (or ice water bath), cover and refrigerate. Before serving, add the cream and asparagus tips (reserve some tips to garnish soup before serving) and warm gently over medium heat. Stir often.
  7. Add a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

Source: Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

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