White Asparagus and Goat Cheese Soup

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This elegant and delicious appetizer is ridiculously simple. It requires only two ingredients (if you don’t count water, salt and pepper,  and the parsley that I used for garnish) and not much skill to prepare. Due to some relatively warm weather we’ve had in January (now it is cold), asparagus are very early this year. I hadn’t decided yet what I was going to make for an appetizer, but my mind was made up quickly when I saw the first crop of white asparagus at the market. I couldn’t resist and cooked the asparagus sous-vide, but you could get a very similar result by steaming the asparagus instead. The combination of white asparagus with goat cheese is a classic one, and it gets even better when you serve this with a nice glass of Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. This is amazing and I’ll definitely make this again. Here’s what I did.

Ingredients

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For 4 servings as an appetizer

4 thick white asparagus, about 400 grams (.9 lb)

100 grams goat cheese

salt and freshly ground white pepper

minced fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)

Instructions

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Peel the asparagus. Cut half a centimeter (a quarter inch) off the bottom, and do not peel the top. Gather the peels and trimmings in a saucepan.

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Cover the peels with about 250 ml (1 cup) of water, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer.

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Simmer, uncovered, until the water has reduced by about half, about half an hour.

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In the meantime, cut off the tips at about 10 cm (4″) from the top. If cooking sous-vide, vacuum seal the tips separately from the stalks with some salt and freshly ground white pepper.

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Cook the stalks sous-vide for 45 minutes at 85C/185F, or steam them for 20 minutes until they are very tender.

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Strain the asparagus stock into a blender, using a chinois to press as much liquid out of the peels as you can.

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Remove the crust from the goat cheese (if it has a crust).

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Add the asparagus stalks and the goat cheese to the blender.

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Blend at high speed…

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…until completely smooth and frothy. If you do not own a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, you may have to use a fine sieve to make sure the soup is smooth.

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Pour the soup into a saucepan, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Gently heat it up, but do not let it boil.

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Cook the asparagus tips sous-vide for 20 minutes at 85C/185F, or steam them for 10 minutes.

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Serve the soup in tumblers. Arrange an asparagus tip in each tumbler, and add the hot asparagus soup carefully (to keep the tumbler clean).

Garnish with a bit of minced parsley, if you like, and serve at once.

Wine pairing

As already mentioned in the introduction, this is outstanding with a good Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé. Other sauvignon blancs from the Loire region are also fine, like Menetou Salon, Quincy, or Touraine. A sauvignon blanc from another region might work as well, as long as it is in a dry style with nice minerality.

Flashback

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Spaghetti alla Gricia is one of the guanciale-based roman pasta dishes; the others are Carbonara (with egg) and Amatriciana (with tomatoes).

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15 thoughts on “White Asparagus and Goat Cheese Soup

  1. This looks really great… I wasn’t sure about the sous vide part, but i just purchased one and went with the anova.. what model do you use? Thanks in advance. Will

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  2. I have never ever thought of putting these two together!! Absolutely fabulous and cannot wait to try . . . brilliant presentation: do I have the same gorgeous sense of humour!!!! Or anywhere near your sense of elegance . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with Conor. As I read the post’s title, my first thought was “How elegant!” You’re right about the combination of asparagus and goat cheese being a classic and what a great idea to serve it as a soup, Stefan. Would definitely make a great starter for a dinner party.

    Liked by 1 person

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