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Asparagus Soup with Grilled + Blanched Asparagus
2 medium echalion shallots
3 cloves garlic
2 sticks celery
2 tbsp unsalted butter
600 g green asparagus
500 ml vegetable stock
100 g spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
100 g white asparagus
1/4 loaf white bread
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 g edible flowers
- Peel and roughly dice the shallots and garlic. Dice the celery. Put a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. Let it melt and foam then add the celery, shallots and garlic. Season with salt and sweat over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Roughly chop 3⁄4 of the green asparagus. Add the chopped asparagus to the pan and pour in the vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes then add the spinach and let it wilt for 2 minutes. Transfer to a heat-proof blender and blend to a smooth, soupy consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a griddle pan over a high heat and bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Trim the remaining green asparagus and throw it into a mixing bowl with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus stalks in the griddle pan for about 5 minutes (depending on how thick the stalks are), turning every few minutes, until they blacken a little all over. Transfer the cooked asparagus to a plate and keep it warm.
- Season the boiling water with salt. Trim the white asparagus and add it to the water. Cook for 5 minutes, until just soft all the way through. Tear up the bread into rough 2cm cubes, drizzle over the second tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 5 minutes until golden and crisp.
- Divide the soup between shallow bowls. Slice the asparagus stalks, arrange them in the middle of the bowls and drizzle extra virgin olive oil around them. Top with a few croutons, zest a little lemon over the bowls and decorate with edible flowers.
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