Smoked Asparagus Soup

This is a recipe from our enFuso "Chef Demo" at the Williams-Sonoma Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, California. It got a great reception at the demonstration, especially when they noshed on the surprise inside – that perfectly al dente and smoky asparagus tip!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 pounds green asparagus: woody stem bottoms snapped off and discarded
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 Loaf Italian or French country bread, torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 lemon cut lengthwise
  • Large water bath with ice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of enFuso Smoke Olive Oil (any of them will work: Late Harvest, Turbo, or Smoky Garlic)

Cut tips from asparagus 1 and a 1/2 inches from top and halve then tips lengthwise if thick. Cut stalks into 1/2 inch pieces. (Below shows the torn bread, the discarded woody tips of the asparagus, the asparagus tips and cut stalks.)

Bring a large stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lemon half, and using a sieve, or wire mesh skimmer, submerge the asparagus tips in the boiling water. After they turn bright green, and maintain their crunch, 1-3 minutes, remove and plunge into water bath to cool. Repeat with the asparagus stalks. (Below shows the boiling water, the ice water bath, and the asparagus tips ready to plunge into the boiling water.)

In a 2 to 4 quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then blend in the cream and asparagus stalks, and remove the “soup” from the heat.

Purée the soup in a blender until smooth as follows, using caution due to blending hot liquid. Remove the smaller center cap from the larger blender lid and cover with a dry kitchen towel, allowing steam to escape, and preventing the soup from spraying out of the blender.

After blending all the soup, add pieces of country bread to the blender to achieve the consistency of thin gravy. Then season soup with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the asparagus tips in a bowl, and toss with the Smoke Olive Oil.

Transfer soup to bowls for serving.  Garnish with smoky asparagus tips. If you want a little extra smoky flavor, drizzle a few drops of smoked oil over the soup for extra flavor.