Swe-Dishes: Asparagus Soup (Sparrissoppa)

Food & Drink

Swe-Dishes: Asparagus Soup (Sparrissoppa)

Who says soups are only for winter? Ann Sather, a Swedish restaurant in Chicago, certainly doesn’t.

And since prime asparagus season is during the spring, we’re bringing you an asparagus soup recipe from John Duxbury of swedishfood.com that can be served warm or chilled. Enjoy the light, nutritious soup warm on a chilly spring night, or serve it chilled on a hot day.

Duxbury’s Tips

  • This recipe works well with white asparagus but looks better garnished with green asparagus or parsley.
  • Small portions make excellent amuse-bouches.
  • Instead of cooking the reserved spears (Step 12), steam them for 3-4 minutes and add them on top as a garnish.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. white or green asparagus spears
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock made with a bouillon cube
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 4 tbsp cream or crème fraîche

Instructions 

  1. Rinse the spears thoroughly to remove any grit or soil.
  2. Break off the tough white ends of the stalks. Peel any very thick spears using a potato peeler. (This is usually only necessary with white spears.)
  3. Place the tough spear ends and any peelings in a saucepan and add the vegetable or chicken stock. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Strain the liquid off into a jug and reserve. Discard the peelings and stalk ends.
  4. Pick out your 8 nicest looking spears to use later as a garnish.
  5. Chop the remaining asparagus spears into 2-3 cm (1”) lengths.
  6. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat and cook the chopped onion for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until it is softened and translucent.
  7. Stir the chopped asparagus into the onion mixture, then put a lid on and let it sweat for about 10 minutes, giving it a stir every now and then.
  8. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour and stir thoroughly.
  9. Add the saved liquid, a little at a time, stirring after each addition.
  10. When all the liquid has been added, add the white wine and the whipping cream and season with salt and pepper. Keeping the heat low, let the soup barely simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
  11. Let the soup cool a bit and then pour it into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Adjust the seasoning.
  12. Add the reserved asparagus spears and re-heat gently for 3-4 minutes.
  13. Pour into warm bowls, garnish each dish with a tablespoon of cream or crème fraîche and a little freshly milled black pepper.

Serves four (and pairs well with some crusty sourdough bread).

Enjoy!

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