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Chilled Creamy Asparagus Soup with Parsley Cream

When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to do is eat hot food. Although asparagus is a spring vegetable, you can pretty much get it throughout the year. Asparagus has a distinct and unique taste. The freshness of the parsley, the tanginess of the sour cream really brings out a fresh flavor. I used green asparagus because the color would be more pleasing for a summer dish and the taste is more distinctive than white asparagus.

Photography by Robert Demetrius

You will need:
1 pound asparagus without the woodsy part
woodsy parts of asparagus
5 cups chicken stock
3 small red potatoes
1 large onion diced (2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1½ teaspoons of salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1½ ounces dry vermouth
Cutting Asparagus in 1 inch pieces
Cut the ends of the asparagus then break off the woodsy part. Just remember that we will need the woodsy parts to add to our stock, so do not throw them out, but you can dispose of the cut ends. In a pot bring the stock, woodsy parts of the asparagus and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil over medium heat and then let simmer for 7 minutes then strain. Discard the woodsy parts and keep the stock in a container for later use.

While the stock is simmering away, dice a large onion to yield 2 cups. If you have smaller onions, just dice enough for 2 cups. Cut tips of 8 asparagus about 2 inches from the tip, we will need them for decoration. Cut the rest in 1 inch pieces. Peel and dice 3 small red potatoes. Chop 2 garlic cloves.

Once the pot has been emptied of the stock, place it back on the burner over medium heat. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onions and potatoes for 5 minutes before deglazing with 1½ ounces dry vermouth. 
Sauteeing Onions and Potatoes
Continue to sauté for 3 more minutes before adding chopped garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes before adding the strained stock back to the pot. Bring the stock to a boil, which should take 4 minutes before adding asparagus, but not the 8 tips that we will be using as decoration and let it simmer for 6 minutes.
Stock and Vegetables Simmering
Using Immersion Blender to Puree the Soup
If you have an immersion blender, blend the ingredients until nice and creamy and let cool before placing in the fridge until chilled. If you don’t, wait until the soup has cooled and pour in the blender and liquefy. You will have a creamy velvety soup.

Just before serving the chilled soup, blanch the remaining 8 asparagus tips. Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the 8 asparagus tips for around 2 minutes and cool in a bowl with cold water and ice to stop the cooking process, because we want the tips to be nice and crunchy.

Ladle a cup of chilled soup in each bowl with and dollop of Parsley Cream and 2 asparagus tips.

This serves for 4 and yields 4 cups of soup. Voilà. Now go and have a cup of creamy chilled soup as one of your summer delights. How cool is that?

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