Roasted Spring Asparagus Soup
Source: Charlie Vollmar, Epicurean Exchange
This recipe was demonstrated at CUESA's Market to Table program on April 10, 2010.
This is an opportunity to enjoy the first of the young California spring asparagus and green garlic. Choose medium-sized asparagus (not pencil or large) and look for tips that are tight and free from flowering. Green garlic is immature garlic and adds a mild garlic flavor to this soup. If green garlic is not available you may substitute a leek and a couple garlic cloves.
2 bunches scallions, trimmed white parts and 2-inches of green, cut into 1-inch lengths: remaining green parts reserved
3 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, sliced into ½-inch thin wedges
2 green garlic stalks, trimmed, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
½ cup half and half
2 tablespoons dry vermouth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
¼ cup crème fraiche
Zest of ½ lemon
- Preheat oven to 450º. Place the scallions, asparagus pieces, onion wedges, and green garlic in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast, uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender.
- Working in batches, fill a blender ⅔ full with roasted vegetables. Add 1 cup of the stock. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a heavy-bottom stockpot. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and stock. Reserve any leftover stock to thin soup later, if necessary.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the half and half and vermouth, thin with leftover stock or water if necessary. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the lemon juice.
- To serve, bring soup to a simmer. Serve soup in bowls with a dollop of crème fraiche and a pinch of fresh lemon zest.