Spring Special – Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup with Hempler’s Smoked Bacon, Lime Crème Fraiche and Garlic Fried Crouton, sounds fancy huh? Well it is. Cream soups meaning a puree of some type of vegetable, starch or protein with a little cream added are generally boring 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 a texture contrast of crunchy and the lime crème fraiche is cool and acidic in contrast to the hot soup. The bacon, well why not?  (Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Bryan Weener)
Makes ½ gallon or 8 cups

Ingredients –
Asparagus or Asparagus Stems – 1 ½ lbs
Yellow onion –  Diced 1 ea
Canola oil or butter – 2 Tablespoons
Water – 1 qt
Peeled Yukon gold potatoes – ¾ lb
Heavy cream – 1 ½ cups
Spinach leaves – big handful
Sesame oil – 2 teaspoons

Garnish –
Hempler’s Bacon – 8 pieces cut into ½ pieces
Crème fraiche or sour cream – 1 cup
Lime zested and juiced – ½ ea
Croutons – your favorite will do, or tortilla chips crumbled will work in a pinch. It’s about the texture. 1 cup

Instructions –
You will need a heavy bottomed pot for this soup. 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. Some good brand names are All Clad and Volrath. Volrath is 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.

-Start by sautéing the onions with the oil for 4-5 minutes till translucent.
-Add the asparagus and sauté for another 10 minutes.
-Season at this point with salt and pepper
– Add the water, cream, potato and sesame oil and simmer for 20 minutes
– Add spinach leave and stir.
– In a blender place the solids from the soup meaning the asparagus, potatoes, etc… and puree till smooth using the liquid to adjust the consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If you can’t tell if it needs more salt then it needs more salt.

At this point you can serve the soup with just the croutons and it will be delicious. If you want to go over the top and have everyone think you have a “Food Network Star Chef “chained to your stove then continue reading.

Lime Crème Fraiche –
– To 1 cup sour cream add ½ of a lime zested, the juice of the whole lime and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Bacon
– 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 save the fat for the bacon popcorn I’m going to tell you how to make.
Now you have all your components for your soup it’s time to make the magic happen. Pour soup into bowls, top each one with 6-8 croutons, some bacon and a table spoon of lime sour cream.

Other ideas –

  • Save some time and check our “Specials” tab and order your soup through us today!  Special is good through the end of June 2015.
  • Looking for other ideas when it comes to asparagus – Check out Chef Bryan’s blog post about different ways to prepare asparagus for the spring and summer season.
    • http://www.haggen.com/recipes/aspire-to-local-asparagus/
p. 360.647.4325 | f. 360.647.4326 | 210 36th St., Bellingham, WA 98225 | catering@haggen.com