When the asparagus starts showing up at the farmer's market every year I know I have made it. Spring has (un)officially arrived and warmer weather is on the way. Now it's the middle of June and I've been buying asparagus almost every week at the farmer's market. It's been great!! This past week I decided to try something new with my asparagus, something I've never done before - making a vichyssoise. Of course I was familiar with the name vichyssoise, and I had a vague sense of what this soup was, but until this past week I couldn't have really defined it exactly. Well now I know!
I was excited to try this asparagus vichyssoise first of all because I love asparagus, and second of all because it gave me another opportunity to use my new favorite kitchen toy, a new Vitamix blender! I used some graduation money to splurge on a Vitamix a few weeks ago and have been loving it! It was the perfect tool to make this smooth and creamy soup. So, what I now know about vichyssoise is that it is traditionally a creamy potato leek leak soup that is eaten cold. This was basically that with the wonderful addition of asparagus. There is just a tiny bit of cream and a little Greek yogurt to help make it really nice and creamy with just a bit of tang from the yogurt. A wonderfully healthy and light soup for a hot spring day.
This is a very simple recipe that does not require a lot of hands on time. All you really need to do is cut up a few veggies, throw them in a pot with some stock and let them cook for a good 40-50 minutes. Then blend away until very smooth with some cream and yogurt and move to the fridge to get nice and chilled. You can garnish with some extra shaved asparagus or a little dollop of cream or yogurt, or a drizzle of olive oil, whatever sounds good to you. I have no doubt you will enjoy this delicious and refreshing spring soup.
Adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
- 1 leek
- 1/2 pound asparagus
- 1 small potato, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cream
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 40g samphire
- Grated zest of ½ lemon
Peel the potato and dice roughly. Chop off and discard the tough green ends of the leeks. Cut through the pale center, then wash well and slice roughly. Trim off and discard the woody base of the asparagus. Cut all but two of the spears into 3/4-inch pieces, keeping the tips separate. Reserve whole spears.
Place the vegetables, except for the asparagus tips and reserved whole spears, with the butter in a medium saucepan and sauté on medium heat for about 4 minutes; make sure they don’t take on any color. Cover the vegetables with the stock and add the sugar and some salt and white pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. At the end of this time add the asparagus tips and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Once done, blitz the soup well in a blender until very smooth. Gently fold in the cream and half the yogurt. Allow the soup to come to room temperature, then chill.
While the soup is cooling down, bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the reserved asparagus for 2 minutes; drain and refresh under plenty of cold water. Shred.
Pour the chilled soup into bowls and serve with a dollop of yogurt swirled in and topped with the shredded asparagus and lemon zest if desired.