Asparagus Soup with Poached Egg and Bacon
April 2, 2013 § 8 Comments
It’s a bit early for asparagus here in Vermont. Though the snowdrops are up here by the house, my vegetable garden is still under a foot of snow right now even with all the nice weather we’ve been having. Up here on the hill spring comes late, and I don’t pick asparagus until June. But it’s spring somewhere because I’ve noticed it in all the markets now and the price is irresistible, so I bought several large bunches. I immediately thought of a nice, creamy asparagus soup, springtime in a bowl!
Of course the secret to a good soup is, you guessed it, a good stock. Though you could make this and most soups with water in a pinch, water is water, great stuff but not much flavor. The difference in taste is so worth the small effort it takes to make a batch and have it in the freezer when you need it. So that, an onion, some garlic and the asparagus is pretty much it for this soup.
Now if you wanted a little something extra, like I did, eggs and bacon would be it. When the soup is finished, poach an egg, slip it into the soup and top it with the crispy, salty stuff. The runny egg yolk, bacon and asparagus all blend together for one delicious cup of soup.
About 1 1/2 to 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed of the tough ends, cut into smallish pieces. (You probably know how to trim it, just hold it on each end, bend, and it will break at the right place)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
butter for sautéing
a slice or two of bacon, chopped fine
about 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 organic pastured egg
Parmesan cheese for grating on top (optional)
To make the soup:
First cook the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels when done. Set aside.
Saute the onion and garlic in a few tablespoons of butter. I used 3.
Do this a few minutes until soft, the add the asparagus and cook a few more minutes until nicely coated with butter.
Now add the stock and bay leaf, about 1/2 tsp salt and a large pinch of pepper.
Bring to boil, then turn down and simmer, partially covered, for about and hour and a half. Yes, that’s right. This long cooking time really develops the flavors.
Puree in food processor until smooth. If you like, take out a few spears for garnish before you puree. Make sure to remove the bay leaf. You can put through a food mill to make sure no stringy parts remain. Young, tender asparagus won’t need this step. This will also make the soup quite a bit thinner and the egg won’t sit at the top.
Return to pot, keep warm, and add the cream.
Taste for seasoning.
When ready to serve, poach an egg. Ladle the soup into a bowl, add the egg and top with some crumbled bacon.
Add a grating of Parmesan cheese.