Cold Cream of Asparagus Soup finished with Maldon salt.
We’ve been having some very hot days with temps nearing 100 and sometimes over. There’s nothing like a cold, refreshing soup on a hot day. Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies and we eat a lot of it in our household. You can make this soup in stages so it does not seem like a big task, but it really comes together quite quickly and easily. Each time I prepare asparagus, I trim the ends and put them in a freezer bag. I also save the liquid that I steam the asparagus in, which makes a very asparagus-forward broth, which is a nice addition to the soup stock. If you don’t have asparagus broth, just use all chicken broth. I had accumulated about 5 cups of asparagus ends so thought it was time to make soup!
One of the things that made this soup rich with asparagus flavor is the addition of asparagus broth (about 2 cups) along with 3 cups of rich, home-made chicken broth. I had both asparagus broth and chicken broth in the freezer so this soup went together quickly. If you don’t have asparagus broth, just use all chicken broth (5 cups in total). You don’t need to make the broth from scratch, but it sure is better than what you buy in the box or can.
Mix the two broths together in a large soup pan, add the frozen asparagus ends, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
After the broth has cooked with the asparagus ends, strain the broth. You should have about 4 cups of broth in total. The ends are woody and most of the flavor has been cooked out, so you want to continue making the soup with a pound of fresh asparagus.
Cut the tips off 1 pound of fresh asparagus. Put aside as you will use these once the soup has been cooked, cooled, and blended, to finish the soup. Remove ends and freeze for your next batch of soup. Chop middle portion into 1 inch pieces.
Add the fresh asparagus back into the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer until the asparagus is tender; about 35 – 40 minutes. Add a tablespoon of butter, which gives the soup a bit more depth of flavor. Add 1/2 cup cream or half and half. Strain the asparagus and divide broth into 2 portions (2 cups each).
Cool and blend the asparagus with 2 cups of the broth.
Next, make a roux. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter over low heat in the same pan the soup cooked in. Add about 1/3 cup flour. This will be chunky and you will think it will never become a smooth sauce, but keep stirring and with the back of a spoon, mash the flour into the butter.
If the last 2 cups of broth have become cold, heat for a minute or two in the microwave. Slowly add the broth to the butter/flour and keep stirring until all the flour is incorporated and you have a slightly thickened sauce; about 15 – 20 minutes. This is not exactly a Veloute sauce, as you have added some cream to the stock. A true Veloute is a roux made expressly with butter, flour and chicken stock. It is one of the “Mother Sauces” of French cuisine. Veloute in French means velvety. Also, a roux is generally made with equal parts fat to flour, but in this case the soup already had a fair amount of fat from the chicken broth, plus the added tablespoon of butter after cooking, so the roux did not require more fat.
Add this to the blended soup and blend once again. Return the soup to the pan and add the asparagus tips. Cook until tips are just tender; about 15 more minutes. Chill until very cold.
Try serving with a dollop of plain yogurt. It really adds a zing!
This soup is also delicious hot, but that’s more for a day in December, not the dog days of summer!
LET ME KNOW HOW YOU LIKE IT!
UNTIL NEXT TIME…KEEP COOKING WITH LOVE.
YOU WILL NEVER GO WRONG!
Cold Cream of Asparagus Soup
Packed with tons of asparagus flavor and very satisfying served icy cold on a hot summers day!
For the Soup
- 5 cups Frozen Asparagus ends
- 3 cups Chicken Broth, preferably home-made
- 2 cups Asparagus Broth, or use all Chicken Broth
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1/2 cup Cream or half and half
- 1 lb. Fresh asparagus, tips and ends removed Freeze the ends and reserve the tips for finishing the soup.
- Salt/Pepper to taste
For the Roux
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1/3 cup Flour
- 2 cups Soup Stock
- Salt/Pepper to taste
To Make the Soup
In a large soup pan bring both asparagus and chicken broth (or all chicken broth) to a boil. Add 5 cups of the frozen asparagus ends.
Reduce heat and simmer for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Strain off the asparagus ends. You should have about 4 cups broth left.
Add 1 lb. of fresh asparagus (tips reserved and ends into the freezer) to the broth and cook for about 35 - 40 minutes until asparagus is very tender.
Add 1 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 cup cream to the hot soup. Let cool.
Strain out the asparagus and divide the broth into 2 equal portions of 2 cups each.
In batches, blend the asparagus and 2 cups of the broth until very smooth. Set aside.
To Make the Roux
Melt a tablespoon of butter on low heat in the same pot the soup cooked in.
Sprinkle 1/3 cup flour over the butter and stir vigorously. Using the back of the spoon Press the flour into the butter to make a paste. It will be chunky and lumpy. Cook the butter/flour mixture at least 5 minutes to remove the floury taste.
If the remaining 2 cups of soup stock have become cold, heat in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
Slowly add the re-heated soup stock into the butter/flour mixture and continue cooking over low heat, stirring continuously until the mixture is completely combined and has a slightly thickened consistency. This will take 15 to 20 minutes.
To Finish the Soup
Once the roux has thickened, add back into the blender with the originally blended asparagus and stock. Blend to mix completely.
Return the soup to the soup pan and add the fresh asparagus tips. Gently heat until the tips are just tender; about 15 more minutes.
Taste for salt/pepper and adjust if necessary.
Chill until very cold.
This cold, luscious soup will not disappoint. It is refreshing on a hot day and I have to believe with all that asparagus, it is good for you! The addition of Maldon salt to finish the soup when serving, gives it a pop. Greek-style yogurt is also a delicious as a topper.