How to eat the whole asparagus, from tip to tail. "Instead of a soup," Wayte says, "you can use the same broth in a risotto or for the base of a pasta sauce." Braised fish or simmered grains or green juices might be more good ends for your ends. Adapted slightly from Annie Wayte and White Hart. —Genius Recipes
asparagus, trimmed (trimmings reserved), and coarsely chopped
large leek (white part only, green part reserved), sliced
clove garlic or 1 bulb spring garlic, trimmed
blanched almonds (1/2 cup slivered almonds)
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Place four soup bowls in the refrigerator to chill.
Place the asparagus trimmings (and the cleaned leek tops and root and the other half of the garlic clove, if you like) in a saucepan and add water to cover (about 5 cups). Add a pinch of sea salt to the water and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the stock through a sieve. Discard the trimmings.
Meanwhile, place the sliced almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté until the leeks are tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the blanched whole almonds and continue to sauté for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add 4 cups of the reserved stock. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Increase the heat, add the chopped asparagus, and cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and puree the soup, in batches, in a blender. Pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding any solids. Allow the soup to cool, then place it in the refrigerator to chill.
To make the lemon cream, pour 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream into a bowl and whisk until thick. Fold in the lemon zest and juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated until required.
When ready to serve, stir the remaining heavy cream into the chilled soup until well combined. Pour the soup into the chilled bowls, and garnish each one with a spoonful of the lemon cream and a scattering of toasted sliced almonds.
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