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Author Notes: 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
- 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed (trimmings reserved), and coarsely chopped
- Sea salt
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large leek (white part only, green part reserved), sliced
- 1/2 clove garlic or 1 bulb spring garlic, trimmed
- 2 ounces blanched almonds (1/2 cup slivered almonds)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 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.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!