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White and Green Asparagus Soup

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White and Green Asparagus Soup - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • White and Green Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

1 bunch white asparagus (bottoms trimmed if not using fine mesh strainer)

1 bunch green asparagus (bottoms trimmed if not using fine mesh strainer)

2 tbsp. butter

1 c. onion, roughly chopped

½ c. celery, roughly chopped

½ c. leeks, white part only, sliced

½ c. leeks, green part only, sliced

2 qts. chicken stock, low-sodium

salt to taste

pepper to taste

grated nutmeg to taste

1 c. heavy cream (optional)

Directions

Bring two 4-quart pots of salted water to a rolling boil. (Water should be as salty as the ocean.) Have large bowl of ice water nearby. Plunge white asparagus into one pot and green asparagus into second pot. Boil for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until asparagus softens just slightly beyond a hard, crisp texture.

Immediately plunge into ice water, and drain when asparagus becomes completely cooled. Trim into approximately 1-inch pieces, saving 8 white asparagus tips and 8 green asparagus tips for garnish. Set aside. (Note that tough ends of asparagus will not require trimming since soup will be strained through a fine mesh strainer. If fine mesh strainer is not available, snap off tough ends before boiling asparagus.)

In two large soup pots, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat within each pot. Place ½ cup onion and ¼ cup celery into each pot. Place white part of leeks into one pot and green part of leeks into second pot. (This now defines your white soup and green soup pots, respectively.)

Sauté vegetables until translucent, not allowing to brown. Add 1 quart chicken stock to each pot and bring to a light simmer. Cover, lower heat, and cook approximately 45 minutes or until all ingredients have become well-softened. Remove from heat. When soups are cool enough to handle, add pre-cooked white asparagus to white pot and pre-cooked green asparagus to green pot.

Using a blender, thoroughly blend both soups separately. Strain each soup through fine mesh strainer into separate containers. Season green soup with salt and pepper to taste and white soup with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. If desired, ½ cup heavy cream may be added to each soup for additional richness and flavor. (Note that soups should be slightly thickened and may be reheated to reduce for proper thickness.) Chill both soups overnight, allowing flavors to meld.

To serve, place green soup into soup pot and bring to gentle simmer; keep white soup chilled. For assembly, place each soup into separate coffee Thermoses or pitchers. With a Thermos or pitcher in each hand, gently pour soup into a single bowl at the exact same time, achieving the same amount of soup in each bowl. You should end with two soups separated in each bowl. Garnish by placing one white asparagus tip on the green side and one green asparagus tip on the white side. Serves 8.

Aftertaste

This recipe was inspired by the arrival of spring asparagus, both green and white, which remains available through summer. I personally love asparagus, and my first thoughts were how to incorporate the green and white simultaneously into a single recipe that will first and foremost be tasty while having great eye appeal. Two soups served in one bowl that can be either hot or cold, or for that matter hot and cold, seemed like an exciting way to experience both types of produce simultaneously.

The tastes complement each other yet are different in mouth-feel, due to the differences in temperature. To me, it's kind of similar to the pleasant sensation of having hot fudge syrup with cold ice cream.

— Submitted by Amuzé at the FAC owner/executive chef William Sherman

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