Creamy Asparagus Soup
By Chef Bryan Weener
This fresh recipe comes straight from the cookbook of our very own catering chef, Bryan Weener. Learn more about Marketing Street Catering at www.marketstreetcatering.com.
We love making this creamy asparagus soup with Hempler’s smoked bacon, lime crème fraiche and croutons for spring and it’s a perfect example of another way to use asparagus in your cooking.
Cream soups that only incorporate a vegetable purée with a starch or protein and a little cream are generally a little on the boring side to me. I find you always need to add things that contrast the smooth soup. In this soup we have a few things in play—the croutons add crunchy texture and the lime crème fraiche is cool and acidic in contrast to the hot soup. The bacon, well why not?
For this soup, you will need a heavy bottomed pot. If you do not have a heavy bottomed pot, stop what you are doing and go get one! Having the proper equipment is paramount. That thin bottomed pot you picked up at a garage sale for your first apartment will not work. It will burn anything thicker in viscosity than water. Look for brands like Al-Clad and Volrath (a commercial line you can find online or at a restaurant supply store). Now that you have your shiny new pot, let’s start cooking.
Creamy Asparagus Soup
with Hempler’s Smoked Bacon, Lime Crème Fraiche and Croutons
Makes 8 cups
1 ½ lbs asparagus spears and/or stems
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp canola oil or butter
4 cups water
¾ lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup spinach leaves
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
8 slices Hempler’s smoked bacon, cut in ½” pieces
1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1 lime, ½ zested and whole, juiced
1 cup croutons
In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat oil on medium high heat, then add onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the asparagus and sauté for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the water, cream, potatoes and sesame oil and simmer for 20 minutes, then add spinach leaves and stir. In a blender, place the solids from the soup and purée until smooth, using the liquid to adjust the consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Lime Crème Fraiche
Combine sour cream or crème fraiche with the lime zest and juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
In a small pot with a little oil, cook bacon over medium high heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the fat has rendered out of the bacon. Strain the bacon from the fat and set aside.
Pour soup into bowls and top each one with 6-8 croutons, some bacon and a spoonful of lime crème fraiche.