Nothing says early spring like the first bunches of asparagus bristling in the produce bins and on tables at the farmers’ market. This simple puréed soup takes full advantage of the season’s first delicate harvest. You begin by softening onion and a clove of garlic in butter, then adding chopped asparagus. Once hot, add chicken broth (to keep this vegetarian, substitute veggie stock or even plain water), simmer till the asparagus is very soft, then purée in the blender and enrich with crème fraîche. Salt, pepper, and lemon juice are all it needs to taste fresh and bright.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr
- Active: 20 mins
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (as an optional garnish, reserve 2 whole spears)
- 5 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups crème fraîche, plus more for garnishing (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the asparagus and cook 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the peas and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the asparagus is very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Let sit uncovered to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan and stir in the crème fraîche and measured lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed.
- Reheat over low heat. Top each serving with a swirl of crème fraîche, if desired. If you reserved the two spears of asparagus, shave them thinly with a mandoline slicer and scatter on top of the soup.