Cream of asparagus soup with Morels

From: (Rene Gagnaux)
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1993 12:00:00 +0100
Fredy Girardet: 'I like to serve a light little soup at the start of a
meal. In a menu of four or fives courses, this is one of the best soups for
sharpening the appetite'.

   Servings:  4
      8    Thin green asparagus spears
      6    Fat green asparagus spears,
           -- about 10 cm (4 in) long
      1    Shallot, medium-sized
    100 g  Fresh morels (3 1/2 oz) or
           -- 15 g (1/2 oz) dried ones
    100 g  Unsalted butter (3 1/2 oz)
    200 ml Double cream (scant 1/2 pint
  Clean the asparagus spears and cook the thin ones for about 5 minutes and
  the fat ones for about 10 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain both
  kinds and reserve the water in which they cooked. Cut off the tips of the
  eight thin spears and set them aside for the garnish.
  Peel and chop the shallot finely. Wash the morels CAREFULLY and cut them
  into quarters (if you are using dried ones, soak them in water for at
  least half an hour before this step).
  Heat half the butter in a saucepan. Add two-thirds of the chopped shallot
  and colour in the butter. Add the six fat asparagus spears and 200 ml (a
  scant 1/2 pint) of their reserved cooking water. Bring to the boil.
  Add the cream and reduce it by boiling fast for 2 minutes. Liquidise the
  soup with 30g (1 oz) of the remaining butter. Wash out the saucepan.
  Strain the liquidized soup through a fine sieve. Season with salt, pepper
  and cayenne, and return it to the cleaned saucepan. Set it aside.

  Reheat the thin asparagus tips by warming them through in a little of
  their cooking liquid. Reheat the asparagus soup.
  Put the morels, the rest of the chopped shallot and the remaining 20 g
  (3/4 oz) butter into a small saucepan. Season with a little salt and cook
  gently. The morels will excludea little liquid. Leave them to cook until
  they have given off all their liquid, at which stage they will be done.
  Take them off the heat.
  Put a ladleful of the soup into each soup-plate. Garnish the centre of
  each one with a share of morels and two asparagus tips.
  (From: Fredy Girardet, Cuisine spontanee, M-Papermac, ISBN 0-333-40957-4)
  Posted by Rene Gagnaux


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