We invite Elsa, Pam's sister for a meal. Lunch will start with the soup. Followed by smoked salmon and Boursin on wheat bread and a crisp iceberg lettuce salad. The next course is Salisbury steaks. Lemon tarts and chocolate tarts satisfy the sweet tooth.
I go in search of cream. Unlike the fresh cream back home, I buy a tetrapak version, with much reservation. Onions and asparagus are sauteed in plenty of Amul butter. The latter is a bright yellow and very tasty. Soon the kitchen is filled with the enticing aromas of sizzling butter and onions. Chicken stock covers the vegetables. A lid is placed on the saucepan as the asparagus cooks. Once done, I let the broth cool before pureeing it. Pouring in the cream with a little trepidation, I reheat the soup. And await the declaration.
CREAMY ASPARAGUS SOUP
1 pound Asparagus
1 small Onion
2 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 cup Cream
Trim the woody ends of the asparagus.
Keep 10 spears aside. Cut the top 2 inches of the spears and boil in water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut tops into 1/2 inch pieces, keeping the spear tips intact.
Cut the remaining asparagus spears into 1/4 inch pieces.
Chop onion finely.
Heat butter in a saucepan.
Add onion and saute till translucent.
Add asparagus to onions and saute till coated with butter.
Pour chicken stock into asparagus and bring to a boil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Lower flame and cover pan with a lid. Simmer for 20 minutes till veggies are cooked.
Puree cooled soup.
Pour pureed soup back into the saucepan and add cream. Mix to blend.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Garnish soup with reserved chopped asparagus and serve.
The soup is a big hit. So is the rest of the meal. Tarts are quartered and shared. The sisters enjoy this different cuisine immensely. Carrying foodstuff across continents turns out to be a good thing.