Lemony Asparagus Soup [or cold]

Lemony Asparagus Soup [or cold]

This silky, citrus-spiked soup, which can be served warm or chilled, is adapted from a dish from Acquerello, an elegant San Francisco restaurant.

3 pounds asparagus, twelve 3" tips reserved, the rest cut into 1/2" pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 cups chicken stock
Two 1-inch wide strips of lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest for garnish
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil all of the asparagus until bright green and barely tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice water to cool, then drain again. Cut the 12 asparagus tips in half lengthwise and set aside.

Wipe out the saucepan. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the sliced onion to the saucepan and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and lemon zest strips, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus pieces and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Discard the lemon zest strips.

Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and white pepper and reheat if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the asparagus tips and grated lemon zest. Serve hot or chilled.

Make Ahead: The asparagus soup can be refrigerated overnight; refrigerate the asparagus tips separately.

From: Food & Wine Magazine.
recipe picture
© John Kernick