- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 bunches fresh asparagus
- 3 shallots
- 5 cloves garlic
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 quart fresh vegetable stock
- 2 cups white wine
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 peeled and de-veined black tiger shrimp
- salt and white pepper to taste
- Trim asparagus about 6 inches from the top and reserve the tops. Chop the asparagus bottoms.
- Chop the shallots and garlic and mix with the asparagus bottoms. Sweat over medium heat in the butter. Add the fresh thyme and continue cooking until the asparagus is tender.
- Deglaze the pan with the whte wine and reduce until half the liquid is gone. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Pureé and strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer. Refrigerator to cool.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and season well with salt. Blanch the asparagus tops and then immediately shock them in ice water to retain the color.
- Add the blanches asparagus to the reserved soup base and purée again until smooth.
- Strain and season with salt and ground white pepper.
- Slice the peeled shrimp in half along the back and sauté in a hot pan with olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Reheat the soup and add cream. Check for seasoning. Place four pieces of shrimp in the bottom of your soup bowl, pour the soup over the shrimp to your desired amount. Garnish with croutons.
I love that first crop of asparagus because it is one of those vegetables that really lets you know that spring has sprung! I can’t wait for this year’s abundance of beauty, especially all the local farms that are surrounding my restaurant. To me, asparagus is best when the tops are budding with slight purple tones and the stalks are firm and vibrant green. When they snap like a twig you know you are dealing with extreme freshness.