Asparagus is first grilled then pureed to make this lovely soup. It's just perfect when asparagus comes into season.
700g asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
1 2/3 cups (420ml) water
1 tablespoon chives, diced
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, diced
100g creme fraiche, to garnish
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Directions Preparation:15min › Cook:30min › Extra time:45min › Ready in:1hour30min
Place the asparagus on a roasting tin or baking tray. Drizzle with half of the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then toss to coat. Place underneath the grill for 5 to 10 minutes until asparagus is tender but still crisp (toss again halfway through grilling for even cooking). It's okay if the asparagus takes some colour but don't let it get too brown. Remove from the grill and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a 4 litre saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
Once the asparagus is cool, cut into 2.5cm pieces. Set aside.
Add the flour to the onion mixture and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Gradually stir in the stock then water. Bring to the boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook at a gentle simmer for 10 minutes.
Place 1/3 of the stock mixture into an electric blender or food processor container. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Repeat the blending process twice more with the remaining mixture.
Return all of the pureed mixture to the saucepan. Add the remaining asparagus, chives and lemon thyme. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture is hot. Ladle into bowls and serve with a spoon of creme fraiche, if desired.