Asparagus and chervil soup

Serves 4
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You often find cheap asparagus on market stalls or you may be cooking a dish which only requires the tips. So a good spring asparagus soup is the ideal way to use the rest. It can be served hot or cold and you could add a spoonful of creamy goat's cheese to it if you wish. Like most soups it's important not to cook the hell out of it. The soup should be simmered for only as long it takes for the asparagus to become cooked enough to blend.

2 medium leeks, roughly chopped and washed
500g asparagus with the woody stalk removed, roughly chopped
1tbsp olive oil
1litre vegetable stock (Marigold or a good quality cube)
1tbsp chopped chervil
1tbsp double cream or more if you wish

Gently cook the leeks in the olive oil in a covered pan for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the asparagus and vegetable stock, bring to the boil, lightly season with salt and pepper and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus is just soft enough to blend. Blend until smooth in a liquidiser, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve. Check the seasoning and add a little more salt and pepper if necessary. Add the double cream and chervil, bring back to the boil and serve.

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