Bright, light and tangy, this soup will bring a taste of spring to your table. For best results, choose thick spears of asparagus to make the peeling less of a job.
For a festive touch, add a teaspoon of trout roe to each bowl, along with a sprig of fresh herbs. For a vegetarian version, skip the roe and add an extra dollop of cream.
This recipe makes two cups of soup. For a larger crowd, double or triple the recipe.
1 pound (500 g.) green asparagus
2 cups (1/2 liter) homemade chicken broth, homemade vegetable broth or water
1/4 tsp. sea salt or table salt
2 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh herbs for garnish: dill, mint, basil, cilantro, chervil or a combination
2 tsp. trout roe (optional)
Cut off the woody bottoms of the asparagus spears. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the bottom two-thirds of each spear. Cut the spears into pieces about 1-1/2 inch (4 cm) long. Be sure to include the tips.
Bring the broth or water to a boil. Add the asparagus pieces and the salt. Simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes.
Purée the asparagus with its broth in a blender. Stray threads of peel may get caught in the blades. Remove them and purée once again.
Transfer the soup back to a clean pot and place it over low heat. Stir in the cream. Add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
When the soup has warmed through, serve each bowl decorated with a sprig of herbs and, if you like, a teaspoon of trout roe. Serves 2.
For a vegan version, substitute coconut milk for the cream.