Serves 4 to 6
This elegant soup comes from Switzerland, where wild asparagus can be found in Alpine meadows as the snows recede. A large bowl full accompanied by fresh, warm bread is a comforting thing when the evenings of spring are still chill. A small bowl served with Garlic Toast Snippets makes a perfect prelude to an elegant springtime meal.
About 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning or fresh herbs of choice
About 2 pounds of asparagus
4 cups of chicken stock or 2, 14.5-ounce cans
2 cups (1 pint) cream or half and half
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet and gently sauté the onion and garlic with the herbs until the onion is softish and golden colored. Set aside.
Remove the bottom 1 or 2 inches from the asparagus. Chop the remaining portion of the spears roughly and place in a pot with the chicken stock and cook until quite tender. Allow to cool a bit, then puree the asparagus and stock along with the sautéed onion mixture. Use a food processor, jar blender of emulsion blender. Not having any of these modern marvels, you can of course always mash everything with a hand masher and then force through a sieve or strainer. Yes, that’s how it use to be done.
Return this mixture to the pot, add the cream. Heat on a moderately low burner while whisking. Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and Garlic Toast Snippets or Fresh Bread.