This recipe is originally from Williams- Sonoma. The original recipe calls for onion, but when I made it I used shallots. I didnt trust the onion not taking over the delicate flavor of the asparagus.
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1 stalk celery, finely minced
- 4 cups chicken stock or 4 cups mild vegetable stock
- 3 lbs asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces-reserve tips
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped well
- 2 cups heavy cream
- white pepper
- In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter.
- Add the shallots and celery and saute for 3-4 minutes-do not brown.
- Add the stock, the cut asparagus minus 18 tips, potatoes and basil.
- Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- In small batches puree soup in a food mill, blender or food processor.
- If using a blender or processor force puree through a strainer with a wooden spoon-this removes any asparagus fibers.
- Return puree to the pan, stir in cream and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Stir well, simmering for 3 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Into a pan of salted, boiling water cook asparagus tips for 2 minutes.
- Ladle soup into bowls and crown each bowl with 3 asparagus tips each.
- Serve hot or chill and serve cold, again adjusting seasonings.
- TIP-when serving creamed soups they are never boiled once the cream is added, so heat the serving bowls with very hot water, pour out, quickly dry and ladle in the soup.