Gourmet Galley’s Chilled Asparagus Soup
Serves 8, soup may be made 24 hours ahead
4 Bunches asparagus standard
2 medium onions
Canola oil for frying
1 medium white potato
Salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup crème fraiche
2 leeks, whites only, julienned
Scant ½ cup AP flour for dredging
Bring ½ gallon cold water to a boil with enough salt to taste. Chop asparagus into 2” pieces. Reserve 16 tips (cut on the bias) for garnish.
Place ½ in the boiling water just until green and tender, do not allow the green to turn brownish. (chef’s hint: a teaspoon and a half of ascorbic acid powder helps keep the green color). Remove from heat and place in ice water bath.
Blanch the other half in the same manner and drain thoroughly.
Peel and cut the potato into ½” squares and cook in the asparagus water until soft for mashing. Remove from the liquid and set aside. Cool the blanching liquid.
Peel and cut onions, saute in 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil over low heat until translucent. Do not allow to brown.
Place ¼ of onions, potatoes and asparagus in a food processor or blender. Add cool asparagus water and process until smooth. Add only enough liquid to achieve a smooth puree. Pass through a coarse china cap or strainer into a mixing bowl, discarding fibers.
Repeat the process with ¼ batches three times. You will have extra blanching liquid left over.
When all the puree is in the mixing bowl, season to taste with salt, pepper and add blanching liquid until desired soup texture is reached.
Place ½ inch of canola oil in saute pan and heat until droplets of water pop and vaporize when dropped in. Dredge leeks in flour, knock off the excess and fry in canola oil until golden brown, remove to paper towels and reserve at room temperature.
To Serve: keep soup chilled until serving. May be completed up to 24 hours in advance. Blend soup until the texture is even, place in the bowls, using a pastry bag with a small round tip, pipe a zig zag of creme fruit into each soup plate. Place a pinch of crispy leeks in the center of the bowl, prop asparagus tips against it and serve.