(2 - 3 servings)
Asparagus was on sale this week at Sprouts; 99¢ a pound. Beautiful slim green spears. I grabbed two bunches and munched on one as soon as I got home. I love raw asparagus, it reminds me of fresh green peas. The second bunch found its way into this soup.
1 lb asparagus
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or replace this amount with additional broth
2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
a small amount of olive oil
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp heavy cream
Wash the asparagus and snap off any woody ends (I only had 4 of these) and discard.
Cut off the tips and set aside. Cut the remainder of the spears into thin slices.
Heat the oil in a heavy pot with tight fitting lid, over a low flame.
Stir in the shallots and saute them until they are translucent. Add the asparagus and stirring from time to time cook them slowly over low heat for about 10-15 minutes taking care they don't burn. Stir in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Increase the heat slightly and stir in the wine, if using (otherwise skip this step). Cook until most of the wine has evaporated.
Pour in the broth, give everything a good stir and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Lower the heat and cook for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Lightly oil an ovenproof dish with olive oil and add the asparagus tips. Drizzle a few drops of oil over the tips and roll them a round a bit to coat them, then arrange them in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the tips for about 12-15 minutes or until you notice them lightly brown, then remove them from the oven.
Puree the soup either in a blender or with a hand held immersion blender until the soup is smooth. Stir in the vinegar, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Return to the stove and stir in the heavy cream. Allow the soup to heat up again without bringing it to a boil, otherwise the soup might curdle.
Divide the soup between 2 or 3 bowls and garnish with the roasted tips. Enjoy.