Thursday, June 3, 2010

Asparagus Soup and Chive Biscuits

Although it’s been hotter than Vegas in July here lately (hottest May on record actually), it cooled down a bit and the skies opened up today.  As I type this, the rain is pelting the window panes and the trees look like they're all competing on So You Think You Can Dance.  Cooler weather instantly gets me thinking about soup and what better way to spend a rainy night than curled up with something warm?  So, what to make when it’s spring and you’re craving something cozy?  Asparagus soup of course.

This soup is a little lighter in flavour than many of the creamier versions which I actually really like but today I was looking for something a little lighter.  I had to save room for the biscuits of course. 

Asparagus Soup

1 ½ lb. asparagus, tough ends discarded, roughly chopped (reserve the tips)
1 cup finely chopped white and pale green part of leek, washed well
2 tablespoons (or a good glug) of good quality olive oil
2 good sized shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
⅓ cup sour cream


Snap off the tough stem ends from the asparagus spears. Roughly chop stems, set the tips aside.

In a heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the shallots, garlic and leeks, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the chopped asparagus and the stock.  Cover and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.  Blitz the soup with either a hand-held or standard blender until smooth.  If using a standard blender, blend soup in two batches to avoid any spill over.  Return soup to pot, add more stock if needed to reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved tips and set pot over medium heat until the tips are tender, about 10 minutes.

For the biscuits I used Ina Gartens Chive Biscuit recipe.  When I’m feelig a little cheeky, I like to add some aged chedder and a whole whack of freshly ground pepper to kick it up a bit.

Chive Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
¾ cup half-and-half
½ cup chopped fresh chives or fresh parsley leaves
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. With the mixer on low, add the half-and-half and beat until just mixed. Add the chives and mix until just combined.

Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and knead lightly into a rectangle 3/4-inch thick. Cut out rounds with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush with the egg wash.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are firm. Serve warm.

1 comment:

  1. What a nice pair, the soup and biscuit. I love the So You Think You Can Dance reference :)