Since childhood I’ve always had something of an aversion to green soup, thinking it looked rather grotesque and slimy. But there are quite a few things I was resolutely opposed to back then that I’ve recently warmed to after all these years – jam, mayonnaise and meringue, to name a few, and I’m determined to try brussels sprouts to see if my feelings towards them have changed to. I think my mistrust of green soups is connected to my hatred of mushy peas, which I’m fairly certain will not wear off as I age. But I’m a huge fan of broccoli and blue cheese soup, and decided to risk this asparagus one, and I’m very glad I did.
It’s another Sophie Dahl recipe which is lovely and summery. Her recipe calls for a chunk of Parmesan rind chucked in as the soup cooks for flavour – I didn’t have any to hand, so simply sprinkled a bit of grated Parmesan on the finished dish, and it was quite divine.
Serves 3, from Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights
2 leeks, white part only, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
24 small-medium asparagus spears, chopped (tough ends discarded)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 litre vegetable stock
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently sweat the leeks and shallots for about 7 minutes.
2. Add the stock and simmer for about 15 minutes.
3. Add the asparagus and simmer for 7 minutes more. Season.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and let the contents cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and whizz until spring-green, smooth and in no way similar to mushy peas.
5. Return to the pan to warm through.
6. Serve with some nice bread to dunk.