A very beautiful creamy and special asparagus soup to give as a starter or a prelude to your evening meal.
A seasonal spring delicacy in Argenteuil area of France, the asparagus makes a superb soup which is sure to satisfy everyone. Be sure to try it as the flavour of this homemade French soup is so superior to any canned version!
500gms (1lb) of fresh green asparagus
1/4 cup ( 2ozs)rice or potato flour (used as a thickener)
1 litre (1 3/4 pts) of milk
50gms (2ozs) butter
100gms (4ozs) double cream
Clean the asparagus by scraping and trimming it then place in salted water (leave the heads on!)
To give the soup a good flavour, you now peel the onion and stick with a clove.
This is simmered in the milk together with the peppercorns and bouquet garni.
Add a little water to the rice or potato flour and mix to a smooth paste.
Mix this into the milk, stirring constantly to prevent it going lumpy. I like to use a small balloon whisk here.
Cook the asparagus in a saucepan, in a little salted water just enough to cover.
When it is cooked, but still a little firm, remove and preserve the liquid.
Trim off the heads of the asparagus and reserve them. Cut the rest into small pieces and cook in melted butter in a heavy bottomed pan.
Add the asparagus to the creamy rice mixture together with a cup of the asparagus liquid.
Simmer this mixture until the asparagus is nice and soft.
Pass this through a sieve or in a blender to bring to a pulp.
Add more of the asparagus cooking liquid to bring the quantity to about 1.3 litres or 2 1/4 pints.
Remove from the heat when ready to serve and add the cream slowly, stirring it continuously.
Garnish with the asparagus heads and serve!
We love this soup, it goes down well when we have friends around, they think I've been in the kitchen for hours! Now you know how easy it is to fall in love with French food!
Asparagus is a beautiful vegetable and can be used for hot or cold dishes - to learn how to cook it for these dishes see here.