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Asparagus Velouté Soup

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© 2011 Helana Brigman
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Nothing really says “I love you” like a homemade bowl of soup.Whether you’re making it for a sick child, a sick boyfriend or girlfriend, or under the complete and total promise that it will keep someone you love warm in the winter months while you’re away, soup is the ultimate homemade care package steaming with affection.

Before leaving for my two-week New England trip during the Christmas holidays, I wanted to show a veggie-loving-boy-who-just-so-happened-to-buy-me-the-LaRousse-Gastronomique-Cookbook that I cared.  So, I made him soup.  And, I showed him how to make it too.

Image: “Asparagus Velouté Soup” (recipe, page 25, Vegetables)

People are often fixated on the speed at which I cook in my kitchen.  If recipe-making were a timed sport, I’d win the gold metal with every dish.  But Soup-Making shouldn’t be rushed.  It’s a slow and simmering process based on the addition of ingredients and the process of waiting for that next addition.

Teaching someone to cook is exactly this way.  For someone who has never really cooked, or made soup before, the mystery of making soup from raw ingredients is about as complicated as one of those cakes that are really cars from Ace of Cakes.  So, one must pace themselves when teaching a loved one how to cook soup, especially when that loved one gave you the recipe book itself.

In a nutshell, the recipe for this Asparagus Velouté Soup combines a simple roux with steaming vegetable broth, puréed, blanched asparagus, and thickening of cream and egg yolks with salt and pepper to taste.  It’s so perfect in its final stage, so fully embodied in flavor that as the soup becomes thicker and thicker, there can be no doubt that you care.

Asparagus Soup

This recipe comes from the LaRousse Gastronomique Cookbook, Vegetables section.  The recipe can be found on page 25.

Ingredients:

* 9 tablespoons butter (3 tablespoons for roux and 6 tablespoons for broth)

* 6 tablespoons flour

* 3 1/4 cups chicken broth (preferably chicken consumé)

* 14 ounces asparagus (1 bunch), woody ends trimmed & blanched

* 3 egg yolks, beaten

* 7 tablespoons heavy cream

1.) Begin by preparing a white roux.  Whisk together butter and flour in a large soup pot.  Add chicken consummé to roux and whisk to combine.

2.) Wash asparagus and remove woody ends by snapping off oversized, rough ends.  Cut asparagus into thirds.  Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add asparagus.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Add three tablespoons butter and simmer for ten minutes.  Drain asparagus and set aside.

3.)  Blend asparagus in a food processor or blender into a purée.  Add puréed asparagus to chicken broth and mix to combine.  Remove soup from heat and thicken with three beaten egg yolks.  Add seven tablespoons of cream (can add less to taste) and reheat, but do not boil.  Serve soup immediately and garnish with asparagus tips and chopped parsley.

Enjoy! Makes 6 servings.

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