Prep 5 mins
Cook 35 mins
This is a lovely spring soup with a beautiful color and sheen and a perfectly balanced flavor. Neither the asparagus nor the crab meat overpower each other. Note that the authors of the "Silver Palate Cookbook" say the best way to puree asparagus is with a food mill which gets out all the fibrous tissue. Nevertheless, a blender or food processor will work if you strain the soup afterward. This is a luxurious menu choice for a luncheon or a dinner appetizer. Consider it for Easter, too. The recipe was originally posted on the TOH website both by Cathy and by Janie. It was taken from a cookbook called "The Soup Bible."
- 3 -3 1⁄2 lbs fresh asparagus
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1⁄2 quarts chicken stock
- 1⁄4 cup vermouth (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 -3 tablespoons cold chicken stock or 2 -3 tablespoons water
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream (whole milk is acceptable)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 1 -7 ounce white crabmeat (to garnish)
- Trim asparagus by snapping off the woody ends and cut spears into 1-inch pieces.
- Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add asparagus and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently until bright green. You may add chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan with the asparagus if you wish the additional flavor.
- Add stock and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam from surface. Lower heat and simmer over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until asparagus is tender, yet crisp. Reserve 12 to 16 asparagus tips for garnish. Season soup to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and continue simmering for 15 to 20 minutes until asparagus is very tender.
- Puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor or pass the mixture through the fine blade of a food mill back into the saucepan. You may want to strain the soup at this point; you want the soup to be satiny. Return the soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Blend the cornstarch with the 2 tablespoons cold stock or water and whisk into the boiling soup to thicken. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning. Add the optional butter if you wish; this is what puts the lovely sheen on the soup.
- To serve: ladle the soup into heated bowls and top each with a spoonful of the crab meat and a few of the reserved asparagus tips.