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Ahhhsparagus - Recipe of the Week

by Paul Mones
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Before they disappear, run out and get those early season asparagus and fresh garlic bulbs and make this dish or the kitchen gods will be angry. This is a very versatile soup – it can be eaten, hot, lukewarm and cold. Unlike 99.99% of asparagus soups served in restaurants especially those in Paris, this soup has no cream. But it does have a secret fatty ingredient.

1.5 pounds asparagus – chopped
Reserve tips of 3 asparagus and mince very finely
4 cloves fresh spring garlic – garlic greens are also good (for a nice switcheroo substitute baby or spring ginger which is just coming into season – about a 1/2 inch piece chopped)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup sake or dry white wine like a sauvignon blanc
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Couple of pinches of coriander powder

1. Heat stock for 2 minutes; add all the ingredients except the minced asparagus tips and coriander. Heat under medium heat (covered) for 10 minutes.

2. Pour contents in a blender (if you have a Vitamix there is no need to strain it, but you may want to strain it to remove any woody asparagus pulp if you have a regular blender) for 3 minutes until completely smooth.

3. Pour contents back in pot under low heat for 10 minutes, add coriander powder and adjust salt.

4. Serve in bowls and garnish with minced asparagus.

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