Asparagus Soup with Mint Pistou
- serves 4
Pistou is just a French version of pesto.
4 cup fresh green asparagus trimmed, then peeled and chopped (approximately 2 bunches), cutting and reserving the tips (1 litre)
½ onion, chopped
1 leek, white part only, washed well and chopped
1 medium sized carrot, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (30 ml)
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
1 cup spinach, chopped (125 ml)
4 cup chicken stock (1litre)
½ cup white wine (125 ml)
¼ tsp cayenne (1 ml)
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
¼ cup buttermilk (60 ml)Pistou
1 cup mint leaves, washed and dried (250 ml)
½ cup basil leaves, washed and dried (125 ml)
1 small clove garlic, crushed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
Zest of ½ a lemon
Coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (10 ml)
1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium. Add onion, leek, carrot and garlic and lightly cook vegetables without colouring, about 2 minutes. Add wine and reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, asparagus stems, and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and let simmer until potatoes and asparagus stems are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Steam asparagus tips. (Alternatively place a mesh strainer into the soup broth and add the asparagus tips to cook until crisp tender about 2 minutes.) Set the tips aside until ready to use.
3. Add the chopped spinach to the soup and cook for 1 minute.
4. Carefully puree soup in a blender or with a hand blender until smooth. Note if soup seems stringy from the asparagus, strain soup through a mesh strainer.) Stir in buttermilk. Reheat until steaming. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Serve and garnish with asparagus tips and pitsou.Pistou
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Garnish soup with a dollop of the pistou.