Asparagus Soup with Scallops

Asparagus is ideal for an early summer soup their woody stalks make an ideal base stock and the stems make a full flavoured soup while the tips can be used for garnishing. The richness of scallops complements this creamy soup.

For a vegetarian option simply use vegetable stock and leave out the scallops.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 500g asparagus
  • 200g floury potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, white only, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • juice and zest of 1/4 a lemon
  • 100ml double cream

Scallops

  • 12 scallops, coral removed
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • zest of 1/4 lemon
  • olive oil
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • 6 tbsp creme fraiche

Method

  1. Asparagus Base Stock: Trim the woody base of the asparagus spears and place them in a saucepan with 500ml water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the stock and set aside.
  2. Scallops: Place the scallops in a bowl with garlic, lemon zest, olive oil and a little seasoning. Leave the scallops to marinate in the refrigerator for 10-30 minutes.
  3. Soup: Cut the tips from the asparagus spears and set them aside. Sweat the leek and garlic in the butter over a moderate heat in a large saucepan for 2 minutes or until the leek is tender. Add the asparagus stems, potato, parsley, asparagus stock and chicken stock. Bring the soup to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10 minute so that the potato and asparagus are tender.
  4. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth then push through a fine sieve to remove any woody bits. Return the soup to a saucepan, stir in the cream, lemon juice and zest, and season to taste. Bring the soup to a simmer and keep hot while you prepare the scallops and asparagus tips.
  5. Asparagus Tips: Bring some water to the boil in a saucepan and add the asparagus tips cook for thirty seconds and drain.
  6. To Cook Scallops: Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate then add the scallops to the pan and cook for 30-45 seconds on each side, so that they are just cooked. Serve.
  7. To Serve: Distribute the asparagus soup into bowls, place a tablespoon of creme fraiche in the centre of each serving and place 2 scallops on it. Scatter the asparagus spears over the soup. Serve at once