Quick asparagus lemon soup
This is a quick soup that looks elegant, is warming and fresh tasting, and feels quite light, which makes it the perfect dinner after a heavy festive lunch, or a welcome partner for leftover sandwiches.
It´s made of basic ingredients I always have around, and if I don´t, the corner shop will. Onion, stock, parsley, lemon and eggs, and the star of the show, a jar of white asparagus.
These babies can be quite expensive, but for soup the thin ones are more than fine. Or maybe you´re a bit of a sucker, like me, and have a couple of jars of what look like finest thick asparagus from La Rioja but turn out on closer inspection to have come from Peru. I have no qualms about throwing these in the pot.
So here´s how it goes. You sweat an onion in olive oil, maybe a little butter, and let it stew gently without colouring. Meanwhile, chop up a fistful of parsley leaves, drain the 525 gr. asparagus jar or tin, reserving the liquid, and chop them into small pieces. Sepparate the tips, they´re very soft and will have to be added at the very end.
When the onion is well cooked, add the chicken stock, about one litre, the water from the asparagus jar, and the asparagus. Simmer for five minutes, taste for salt, and then turn off the fire.
Put two egg yolks in a bowl, add some of the soup, mix well, and add to the rest of the soup, stirring well so that it thickens and turns a beautiful cloudy Naples yellow. Add the asparagus tips, parsley and some pepper.
This is how I was taught to make it by Esperanza, a dinamite cook. I am not so talented, and found it a little bland, so I added the zest of a lemon and the juice of half, and it was lifted into a thing of beauty inmediately. This is my official version from now on.