Asparagus and almond soup

aspergeamandelsoep 1
Scroll naar beneden voor Nederlands recept.

I love asparagus! And the season is so short and sweet that I really try to cook with them as often as I can when in season. Generally speaking I am not a huge fan of asparagus soup though. In part because it reminds me of the 80-ties version that was most often made with canned asparagus. Which I find absolutely revolting. And on the other hand when done “right”, that is the traditional “correct” French way, it is usually loaded with cream.

So I was delighted to find this lovely recipe by Hemsley and Hemsley. If you have not been living under any kind of rock, ánd are into healthy food, you will have heard of this mega star duo. They are two sisters who have made healthy gluten, refined sugar and grain free eating sexier than sexy by catering to the bellies of the rich and famous. And writing a healthy food column in the British Vogue.

aspergeamandelsoep3When I saw they used ghee in this recipe my “Ayurveda worthy recipe alarm” immediately went off. By using almonds you get all creaminess in this soup without any of the heaviness. I gave it my own touch by using white asparagus instead of green. Just because I happened to have those at home. I also swapped chicken stock with water. (If you have homemade vegetables stock at hand, now would be a great time to use it). And I served the soup hot instead of chilled, to keep your digestive fire happily burning. Finally I garnished mine with stir fried oyster mushrooms, toasted pine nuts and finely chopped chives for a real spring feeling. Serve the soup in small cups for a wonderful mini appetizer at your next spring party.

Asparagus are seen as a tri-doshic veggie in Ayurveda. Which means they are good for all three body types. Those with high libido’s be warned. It is supposed to be a killer aphrodisiacum…

aspergeamandelsoep2Asparagus and almond soup

Adapted from Hemsley and Hemsley

For 4 as a main course or 8 to 12 as a (mini) appetizer

  • 75 grams flaked almonds
  • 1 small onion, roughly diced
  • 1 large leek, roughly diced
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 large garlic clove, roughly diced
  • 600 grams white asparagus, trimmed
  • 1¼ litres water or vegetable stock
  • 2½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Himalaya salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 big oyster mushroom cut in thick strips
  • 1 tablespoon pinenuts
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • about 6 sprigs finely chopped chives

Gently fry the onion and leek in ghee for 5 minutes until softened, but not browned. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for another minute.

Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends and roughly chopping them up. Reserve a few asparagus heads for garnish and blanche these for 1 or 2 minutes in a pan with boiling slightly salted water. Drain and set aside until ready to serve.

Add the rest of the asparagus and the almonds to the fried leeks and onions. Stir, add a pinch of salt and black pepper, then add the water or stock. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, with the lid on, until the asparagus is tender. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Blend carefully, with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

For the garnish heat a frying pan and add the olive oil. Once hot scatter in the oyster mushroom strips and fry on high heat until crispy. Lower the heat and add the pinenuts. Roast until slightly toasted and season to taste.

Serve the soup in warmed bowls or cups. Add some fried mushroom and a asparagus spear to each bowl and scatter the toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, nutmeg and chives on top.

Nederlands recept

Asperge en amandelsoep

Geïnspireerd op een recept van Hemsley and Hemsley

Voor 4 pers als hoofdgerecht of 8 tot 12 als (mini) voorgerechtje

  • 75 gram geschaafde amandelen
  • 1 fijngehakte kleine ui
  • 1 in ringen gesneden goed gewassen prei
  • 1 eetlepel ghee
  • 1 grof gehakte grote teen knoflook 
  • 600 gram witte asperges, geschild
  • 1¼ liter water of groentebouillon
  • 2½ theelepel citroensap
  • Himalayazout en zwarte peper
  • 2 eetlepels olijfolie
  • 4 grote oesterzwammen in dikke repen
  • 1 eetlepel pijnboompitten
  • ½ theelepel citroenrasp
  • snufje nootmuskaat
  • ongeveer 6 heel dungesneden bieslooksprieten

Bak de ui en prei op een laag vuurtje 5 minuten tot ze zacht maar niet te bruin zijn. Voeg de knoflook toe en bak nog een minuutje mee.

Bereid je asperges voor door de houterige uiteinden af te breken en iedere asperge in een paar stukken te snijden. Bewaar een paar mooie aspergetoppen en blancheer deze 1 tot 2 minuten in licht gezouten gekookt water. Giet af en hou apart om de soep later mee te garneren. 

Voeg de rest van de asperges en het amandelschaafsel toe aan de pan met de gebakken ui en prei. Roer om en voeg wat zout, peper en het water of de bouillon toe. Laat 5 minuten zachtjes, met een deksel op de pan, koken tot de asperges gaar zijn. Haal van het vuur en voeg het citroensap toe. Blender met een handmixer tot romig en smeuïg. Proef en breng zo nodig verder op smaak. 

Voor de garnering verhit je de olijfolie in een koekenpan. Bak hier de oesterzwammen op vrij hoog vuur in tot ze krokant zijn. Draai dan het vuur lager en rooster de pijnboompitten mee tot ze goudbruin zijn.

Serveer de soep in verwarmde kommen of kopjes. Voeg aan elke kom wat van de gebakken oesterzwam en een geblancheerde asperge toe en besprenkel met de geroosterde pijnboompitten, de citroenrasp, nootmuskaat en bieslook.

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