Asparagus Soup with Chives
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
5 cups simmering stock (vegetable or chicken)
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks and bring them to a boil in 3 cups lightly salted water. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Bring stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, wash asparagus and break off the tough stems. Break or cut the tender stalks into 3 or 4 pieces and add to the simmering stock. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until just tender. If the stalks are pencil thin, this should take 3 to 5 minutes; if thicker, allow 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Reserve about a third of the cooked asparagus and puree the rest with the stock and potatoes in batches in a food processor or blender.
4. Soften the shallot in the butter over low heat. Return pureÚd soup to the pan with the asparagus and add the shallot, butter, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the soup just to a simmer over low heat and ladle into warm bowls. Garnish each bowl with a few chopped chives.