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asparagus veloute with walnut parsley pistou

asparagus veloute with walnut parsley pistou

A velvety smooth asparagus soup is topped with a crunchy walnut parsley pistou and drizzled with fruity olive oil. This soup is fresh, vibrant and beautifully green, thanks to a fun technique you’ve probably never used.

Ingredients

walnut parsley pistou

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano- Reggiano, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

asparagus velouté

  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 lb asparagus, ends snapped off at natural breaking point, tips of 8 spears reserved and remaining stalks cut into 1/4” thick slices
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups finely diced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed to thin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 412 tbsp walnut parsley pistou (see above), for garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil, for garnish

Instructions

walnut-parsley pistou

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread the walnuts on a small baking sheet and toast for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly fragrant but not overly toasted. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes.
  2. Place the oil in a small bowl and add the parsley immediately upon chopping to prevent browning.
  3. Crush the garlic clove, roughly chop it and sprinkle 1/4 tsp of kosher salt on top. Run the flat side of the knife back and forth over the garlic, applying pressure with your hand to massage the salt into the garlic and make a fine paste.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts 3 to 4 times to break them into small pieces. Add the cheese and garlic paste and pulse another 5 to 10 times. Combine the nut mixture and the parsley with its oil in a bowl and stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

asparagus velouté

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a mixing bowl with ice water and set aside for blanching. Add spinach to the boiling water, remove when wilted, about 15 seconds, and transfer immediately to ice water to stop the cooking. Repeat the blanching with the asparagus tips and set aside for garnishes.
  2. Transfer spinach and 1/2 cup of the blanching water to a blender and blend on high until the mixture is very smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside spinach puree.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the asparagus, salt, and pepper and cook until the asparagus is bright green, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and cream and turn down the heat to medium-low. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is soft and can be easily squished, about 30 minutes.
  5. Carefully add half of the hot soup to the blender. Remove the plastic insert from the lid of the blender and replace it with a kitchen towel to allow some steam to escape. Purée the soup until completely smooth, about 1 minute, then transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with the remaining half of the soup.
  6. Set the pot of soup over medium heat and stir constantly to avoid scorching the bottom. As soon as the soup is hot, and just before serving, add the reserved spinach puree and stir to mix. Add this puree as close to serving as possible, as the bright green color will fade with heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  7. To serve, ladle soup into 4 bowls and spoon 1 to 2 tbsp walnut parsley pistou on top of each. Place 2 of the sliced asparagus tips, cut side up, on top of the pistou. Drizzle the olive oil on top and serve immediately.

Notes

Keywords: asparagus veloute, asparagus soup