Creamed Asparagus and Morel Soup


2 pounds asparagus
3 tbl unsalted butter
3 tbl all-purpose flour
6 cups home-made chicken stock
2 cups fresh morels
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste


Prepare asparagus for steaming, snapping tough ends and peeling the stalk. Steam til tender. Pour cold water over after done. Cut 16 tips and reserve for later use. Chop the remaining asparagus. In a large saucepan, melt 2 tbl butter over moderate heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Slowly add the stock. Stir with a whisk until it comes to a boil. Add the copped asparagus and morels, reserving 8 of the smallest morels. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer the asparagus and morels to a food processor and puree with 1 cup of the stock. Blend in remaining stock. Pass the soup through a seive to remove any fibers. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining tablepoon of butter and 1/4 cup of the cream. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add the reserved 8 morels and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the reserved asparagus tips and simmer for 2 minutes. To serve hot bring the soup over low heat and whisk the remaining 3/4 cup cream. Season with salt and pepper. Add the reserved morels and asparagus tips in their cream. Garnish each bowl with 1 morel and 2 tips. Serves 8.

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