ASPARAGUS AND NEW POTATO SOUP
When I hear the words “potato soup,” I think of something heavy, white, and not very appealing. This is potato soup for the way we eat now – light, bright, and full of the flavors of the season. It’s more like a broth with vegetables than a soup, and would make an elegant first course at a special dinner, or a lunch treat with a crusty multigrain roll and a green salad. It reminds me of how they cook at the White House: this is the kind of soup to be offered to a head of state as a first course at a spring lunch or dinner. Seasonal, beautiful, with one unexpected ingredient that delights (in this case, fresh mint), and not so heavy that it ruins the entrée. (They would probably add a few drops of truffle oil to put it over the top, but it’s delicious without it.)
Asparagus and New Potato Soup
Adapted from Country Life magazine
Prep time:1 hour
- 1 pound fresh asparagus
- 1 bunch of spring onions
- 12 ounces baby new potatoes, washed and drained
- 4 ½ cups water
- 4 sprigs of mint, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Trim asparagus and cut off the last inch of the bottoms. Set aside the spears.
- Clean the spring onions and cut off the long green tops.
- Combine the bottoms of the asparagus and the tops of the green onions in a good processor and pulse until minced.
- Put onion and asparagus mixture into a large saucepan and add 4 ½ cups of water. Add salt. Simmer with lid on for 35 minutes.
- Cut potatoes into small pieces, slice the asparagus spears into 2-inch lengths and finely chop the remaining onions. Set aside.
- Strain the asparagus/onion broth through a sieve and return to pan.
- Add potatoes and simmer until they are nearly cooked through, adding asparagus and onions.
Stir in mint and correct the seasoning if it needs more salt. Add pepper and serve.
- Drizzle with a a few drops of olive oil – or truffle oil if you like.