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Asparagus Soup
with Red Pepper Sauce and Lump Crabmeat
Soups & Stews

This recipe was listed in a Valentine's Day menu put together by Emeril Legasse. We fixed it for a first course on Valentine's Day 2005 and loved both the flavor and the presentation.
 

Makes 4 servings

  • 2 1/4 pounds fresh thin asparagus, tough ends removed and discarded

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • Red Pepper Sauce (recipe follows below)

  • 1/4 pound lump crabmeat for garnish
     

Preparation

1.   Cut several tips from the tops of the asparagus and reserve for garnish. Slice the remaining asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces.

2.   Melt the butter in a medium-size heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the sliced asparagus, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and white wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the asparagus are very tender, about 20 minutes.

3.       Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus tips and blanch for a minute or two. Drain and refresh in an ice bath.

4.   Add the cream to the soup and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and process until smooth. Reheat the soup if has become cool. Ladle the soup into bowls, swirling in the red pepper sauce to make a decorative pattern. Garnish with the crabmeat in the center and arrange the blanched asparagus around the crabmeat. Serve immediately.

 

Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 medium size red bell peppers

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup chopped onions

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil

  •  1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

     

Preparation

1.   Roast the peppers. Turn a gas burner on high, impale a red pepper on a long-handled fork and hold over the heat, turning to char the skin evenly. When the skin is blackened and crackly, plunge the peppers into a bowl of ice water. The skin will fall away. Repeat with the remaining peppers. Seed the peppers and chop. (The peppers can be broiled in a preheated broiler, turning to char all sides evenly.)

2.   Combine the oil, onions, garlic, basil, salt, cayenne, black pepper and peppers in a medium-size saucepan over high heat and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the stock and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Purée the mixture in a food processor. Reheat on medium-low before serving.

Note: In the original photo from Emeril's recipe, this sauce appeared to be bright red. It is actually a deep golden-orange in color, which is still very nice, but if you wish it to be red you will need to add some red food coloring.


 


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