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Sweat mire poix (this means cooking on low heat until vegetables are translucent). Toss in your bouquet garni and season a little being careful not to over salt it. De-glaze (this gets any caramelized yummy goodness off bottom of pan) with a little white wine and cook it down.
This next step is optional, but I think it adds a little flare. Cut tops of spears of asparagus off and set them aside. Blanch these in a bit of hot salted water until they turn bright green. Quickly remove them from heat and run cold water over them. This is going to be your garnish.
Cut stalks of asparagus and potatoes into manageable pieces and toss them on top of your mire poix. Pour in enough stock to cover your ingredients by at least an inch. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potato and asparagus are both tender. Remove bouquet garni!
Next step: Puree. I find that it is easiest to do this in installments. Add a bunch of vegetables into a blender or, even better, a food processor, and then add a bit of stock. Take your pureed soup and run it through a strainer into another pot, this takes out any of overly fibrous material.
Return your pureed soup to stove and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add a little cream and stir it in. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Don’t forget your garnish! Ladle some of soup out and put a few of spear tops on top of soup.
Paul Rinehart is Food Director at Online Cooking: http://www.onlinecooking.net
Paul Rinehart is the Food Director at Online Cooking: http://www.onlinecooking.net