Depending where you live, late February through late May is the season for local asparagus. Happily, it’s also the time when fresh, piquant chives are popping up. This light soup, which brings the two together, gets its substance and texture from potatoes, not cream.
For more light, fresh recipes see Spring Fresh: Light Spring Recipes.
Asparagus Soup Recipe with Chives
• 2 medium russet potatoes,
• 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, peeled
• 5 cups simmering stock (vegetable or chicken)
• 1 medium shallot, minced
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/4 cup chopped chives
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Cut potatoes into one-inch chunks (there should be about 21/2 cups) and bring them to a boil in 3 cups lightly salted water. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Bring stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, wash asparagus and break off the tough stems. Break or cut the tender stalks into 3 or 4 pieces and add to the simmering stock. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until just tender. If the stalks are pencil thin, this should take 3 to 5 minutes; if thicker, allow 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Reserve about a third of the cooked asparagus and puree the rest with the stock and potatoes in batches in a food processor or blender.
4. Soften the shallot in the butter over low heat. Return pureéd soup to the pan with the asparagus and add the shallot, butter, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup just to a simmer over low heat and ladle into warm bowls. Garnish each bowl with a few chopped chives. Serves 6