Oven-Roasted Asparagus Soup
Topic and Skill – Roux and Velouté (Episode #5): Putting to use some of the basics – blending and straining and making the best of seasonal ingredients.
Roux – a thickening base for sauces made from equal parts of butter and flour. (See Episode #2)
Velouté – a smooth savory sauce made by thickening a light stock with a roux. It is one of the five ‘mother sauces’ of French cooking and is the foundation for other sauces – the variations are endless! (See Episode #2)
*Asparagus soup usually needs some salt to really make the asparagus ‘pop’ when tasted. When adding salt to season, do so very slowly, add, then taste. Add then taste. Remember, you can always add, you can never take away.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 lbs asparagus (tough ends snapped off; approx. 4 lbs purchase weight, after trimming the ends)
- 1 onion (small dice)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 ounce dry sherry
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
Cut the asparagus to 1-inch pieces. Place half the asparagus pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet, dot with 1 tablespoon butter, rolling the asparagus around to lightly coat.
Bake the asparagus, turning once, until tender and just beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Do not let asparagus brown. Cool and roughly chop.
Mix baked asparagus with the remaining uncooked asparagus. And set aside.
Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot until foaming has subsided. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add flour and cook until thoroughly combined (the mixture should have the consistency of wet sand). Stirring constantly add the chicken stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the asparagus to the simmering stock and continue simmer until mixture begins to thicken. Blend with immersible blender. Strain through a chinois or kitchen sieve. Discard the solids.
Return the strained mixture to the saucepan (stir in the cream, if desired). Warm the soup over low heat. Add lemon juice (to maintain the light green color). Season to taste.
Just before serving, stir in dry sherry.
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