Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
- 1 lb asparagus
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 shallots, minced
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups firmly packed chopped spinach
- 4 ounces fresh sea scallops or 4 ounces bay scallops
- Snap off the tough stem ends from the asparagus spears.
- Cut the tips, each about 2 inches long, off 4 spears.
- Set the tips aside.
- Chop the remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- Bring a large pot two-thirds full of generously salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Add the chopped asparagus and cook until bright green and just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon or long-handled strainer, transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
- When the asparagus is cool, drain and set aside.
- In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, melt 3 Tbs of the butter.
- When the butter is just hot, add the shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the chopped asparagus and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the cream and stock.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Pass the soup through a chinois into a clean saucepan and keep warm over very low heat.
- Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
- In a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 1 Tbs butter.
- When it is nearly smoking, add the scallops and cook until evenly browned and slightly translucent in the center, about 2 minutes per side.
- Divide the scallops among 2 warmed soup bowls.
- Add the reserved asparagus tips to the sauté pan and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the soup into the bowls, garnish with the asparagus tips and serve immediately.