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Section: Vegetable: Hot
Recipe: Lemony Asparagus Soup [or cold]

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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, puree 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.
© John Kernick