Asparagus Soup


4 cups
1 teaspoon
1 bunch
shallots (peeled and sliced)
1 bunch
spinach (washed, coarsely chopped)
1 bunch
sorrel leaves (washed, coarsely chopped)
1 tablespoon
chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon
chopped fresh tarragon leaves
salt and pepper to taste


                                                                                                                                    IMPORTANT! Always use great caution when puréeing hot liquids. If you have time, allow the soup to cool before blending. Never fill the container more than half full. Cover the lid with a folded kitchen towel and hold it in place before you turn on the blender. The initial surge of the blender's contents can cause the lid to pop open, possibly scalding you if it's still hot, and certainly making a mess of your kitchen.         

Bring salted water to a boil in a large soup pot. 

Start with the garnish. Break off the asparagus tips (top 1 inch) and blanch in boiling salted water just until they turn bright green. Remove and drain on paper toweling. Set aside while you make the soup.

Soup: Rough chop the asparagus stems. If the bases are very woody and dry, just chop the ends off and throw away. Add the stems and sliced shallots to the pot of boiling water. When the stems are bright green and barely tender, about 3-5 minutes, transfer them along with the cooking liquid to a blender. Add spinach, sorrel, thyme, tarragon, and a squeeze of lemon. Blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with your choice of a drizzle of olive oil, a few asparagus tips in the center, a thin slice of lemon, sprinke of fresh herbs, marigold petals, violet blossoms, etc.  (Recipe♦143)