When I read through Emeril’s recipe for asparagus soup ( here), I was quite taken by his idea of simmering the tough ends of the asparagus in the bone broth to get an intenser asparagus flavor. How much flavor had we missed by sending those tough ends directly to the chickens? No more!
To thicken the soup and intensify the asparagus flavor even more, I cut the soup stock by 1/3. White pepper is lovely in this soup with its brightness, almost citrus-y flavor.
And to finish: a splash of dry white wine! The wine was my idea. Emeril should try it. As long as the wine goes into the pot in the last ten minutes of simmering, the alcohol cooks out, leaving that bit of flavor which pulls everything together. White wine and heavy cream have a special synergy. They sing harmoniously, especially in soups and sauces.
Serve this soup with some hot buttered sourdough for even more harmony!
Emeril’s Asparagus Soup Ingredients
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus, washed and tough ends removed
- 4 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 cup minced shallots or leeks (white part only)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- a good pinch of white pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Emeril’s Asparagus Soup Steps
- Drop the tough ends of the asparagus into the simmering chicken broth. A large saucepan or medium soup pot will do. Let the broth continue to simmer while you finish working on the asparagus and preparing the onion and garlic.
- Cut the buds from the asparagus spears to use as garnish. Cut the remainder of the spear into 1 inch pieces.
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium sized skillet. Sauté the onion and garlic together until they are transparent. Do not brown or caramelize the onions lest the onion flavor overpower the asparagus.
- Lift the tough ends of the asparagus from the broth using a slotted spoon. As soon as they are cool, the chickens can have them. Drop the asparagus buds into the broth and let them cook for 1 minute. Pull the buds out with the slotted spoon and spread them on a cool plate so they will stop cooking. The asparagus color should be bright green.
- Add the tender asparagus pieces and wine to the stock and allow to simmer until the asparagus is tender.
- Add the onion-garlic mixture to the soup pot.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add the cream and blend some more.
- Mix in salt and pepper. Taste and make necessary adjustments.
- Ladle the soup into warm cups or bowls and garnish with the asparagus buds.
If you have any leftovers, store them in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container. To warm them up, warm them slowly and carefully so as not to cause the cream to separate. If it does separate, the flavor is still good, but the visual appeal is compromised.