Market recipe: Lenny Russo's chilled asparagus soup
This week on Market, chef Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant shows host Emily Noble how to create this easy and delicious chilled asparagus soup. Heartland has been consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, and Chef Russo has been nominated twice as Best Chef: Midwest Category by the James Beard Foundation.
For the best experience with this soup, we recommend heading down to the Saint Paul Farmers' Market for your ingredients!
Chilled Asparagus Soup with Celery Seed Sour Cream and Toasted Hazelnuts Ingredients:
For the soup
2 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
3 ea.spring onions, trimmed
1 c. fresh mint leaves
1 pt. court-bouillon (preferably homemade, see recipe) or low sodium vegetable broth
1 c. heavy cream (optional)
½ t. fine sea salt
¼ t. white pepper, freshly ground
For the sour cream
1 c. sour cream
1 t. celery seed, lightly toasted
1 pinch fine sea salt
1 pinch black pepper, freshly ground
For the plate
6 oz. asparagus soup
1 t. celery seed sour cream
¼ t. lightly toasted hazelnuts, papery husks removed and coarsely chopped
2 t. fresh chives, chopped
Plunge the asparagus and spring onions into boiling salted water and cook until tender (approximately three minutes). Since the asparagus will be puréed, using an asparagus cooker or binding the asparagus is not necessary. Remove the vegetables from the boiling water and transfer them to an ice water bath. Let them drain on some paper towels.
Meanwhile, in a metal bowl, whisk together the sour cream and celery seed, and season it with the salt and pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator until needed. When the vegetables have drained sufficiently, coarsely chop them into one inch pieces.
Put them in a high speed blender or food processor. Add the mint and court-bouillon and purée until smooth. Season with the salt and white pepper. With the blender still engaged, slowly add the cream until well incorporated. Chill until needed. To serve the soup, divide it evenly among six serving bowls. Drizzle a small amount of the celery seed sour cream over the top. Garnish with the hazelnuts and chives.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
© 2004, Leonard P. Russo