Cream of asparagus soup with lemon and thyme

Cream of asparagus soup with lemon and thyme

We always have a barrel tasting event at the winery right before the summer season hits and smack dab in the middle of asparagus season; I have been making this soup for years. My favorite part of this recipe is every time I order the asparagus for the event I get in a friendly argument with my produce guy about if I really need eighty pounds of asparagus. Well, when you are cooking for the amount of folks I do … yes eighty pounds does disappear … trust me you don’t want to know how much butter and cream I order for those big batches. Luckily with this smaller version of the recipe you only need about 4 1/2 to 5 pounds of asparagus.

I should warn you if you don’t boil the lemon and thyme in a stainless steel pot and instead use a pot with aluminum the lemon juice will turn your water bright pink and will freak out the most timid of cooks. You don’t have to go out and buy a new pot, I’m just warning you that if the water is pink it’s okay; just a chemical reaction. Science is fun!

What the heck is blanching?http://auntmomos.com/what-the-heck-is-blanching/ One reason why we are blanching the asparagus in the lemon-thyme water is to get the flavor of both into the asparagus spears. Though the main reason is by blanching the asparagus I can then safely add the cream to the asparagus soup later and know the lemon isn’t going to curdle the cream. See … I told you science is fun!

If you want to substitute vegetable broth instead of chicken broth it really works well too. During the event I don’t save the asparagus tips for decorating the top of the soup; I usually use chopped up watercress and fried onions as a topper. Watercress has a flavor between horseradish and a radish. Our winemaker Michael likes to eat this soup’s leftovers the next day chilled … he says it’s refreshing, and still has good flavors.

 

Cream of asparagus soup with lemon and thyme

May 17, 2017
: 8 healthy servings
: 15 min
: 1 hr
: 1 hr 15 min
: 1 1/2 glasses of wine

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 1/2 to 5 pounds of asparagus – white ends removed
  • 3 lemons – quartered
  • 6 to 8 oz. fresh thyme – about one bunch
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1 cube of unsalted butter
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans of chicken broth
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large stainless steel pot squeeze lemons into 12 cups of water, toss squeezed lemons and the thyme into the water, and bring to boil.
  • Step 2 Blanch the some of the asparagus in the lemon-thyme water, remove with tongs when asparagus turns bright green, and put into a large bowl filled with ice water. Repeat with the rest of the asparagus. It’s totally fine if thyme is stuck to asparagus when removing stalks from water. When finished blanching discard water, thyme and lemons. Remove asparagus from ice water.
  • Step 3 In a food processor puree asparagus, but save some tips for garnishing.
  • Step 4 Put pureed asparagus back into the pot, add cream, butter and chicken broth … bring to a boil. Remove from heat and serve. If you would like it to be less chunky, now is the time to use an immersion blender, just be careful that the blade has stopped spinning before you take it out of the soup!  


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