Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summertime Chilled Asparagus Soup

On Sunday I had to work until 6:30, so Joe volunteered to make us dinner. He wanted to use some of the beautiful produce we'd purchased at the Green City Market on Saturday, and decided to try out this asparagus soup from Jamie at Home. The soup came together really easily, and since it was chilled it was perfect to make in advance. It tasted so light and fresh, which was wonderful on a humid evening. It's so nice that Joe and I both love to cook and appreciate good food, because it makes a simple night at home into such an enjoyable experience! And, I have to brag a little... Joe even poached the eggs for on top of the soup! I've actually never poached an egg before, so I was really impressed!

The chef! In addition to a wonderful dinner, he bought me roses, and a grower of Daisy Cutter Ale from Half Acre brewery. I'm too lucky!

The soup was really a beautiful bright green color, but I was too excited to take time for better pictures! It looked so pretty, and tasted even better!

The soup was served with rosemary and garlic grilled chicken thighs, and grilled vegetables. A beautiful summer meal!

Creamy Asparagus Soup with a Poached Egg on Toast
from Jamie at Home, by Jamie Oliver

• 1 lb asparagus, woody ends removed
• olive oil
• 1 medium white onions, peeled and chopped
• 1 stick of celery, trimmed and copped
• 1 leek, trimmed and chopped
• 1 quart good-quality chicken or vegetable stock, preferably organic
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 5 small very fresh free-range or organic eggs
• 4 slices of ciabatta bread
• a knob of butter
• extra virgin olive oil

Chop the tips off your asparagus and put these to one side for later. Roughly chop the asparagus stalks. Get a large, deep pan on the heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Gently fry the onions, celery and leeks for around 10 minutes, until soft and sweet, without colouring. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and stock and simmer for 20 minutes with a lid on. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand-held blender or in a liquidizer. Season the soup bit by bit (this is important) with salt and pepper until just right. Put the soup back on the heat, stir in the asparagus tips, bring back to the boil and simmer for a few more minutes until the tips have softened.

Just before I’m ready to serve the soup, I get a wide casserole-type pan on the heat with 8 to 10 cm of boiling water. Using really fresh eggs, I very quickly crack all 10 into the water. Don’t worry about poaching so many at the same time. They don’t have to look perfect. A couple of minutes and they’ll be done, as you want them to be a bit runny. Toast your ciabatta slices. Using a slotted spoon, remove all the poached eggs to a plate and add a knob of butter to them. To serve, divide the soup between eight warmed bowls and place a piece of toast into each. Put a poached egg on top, cut into it to make it runny, season and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

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