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
- 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
- 12 scallops, coral removed
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- zest of 1/4 lemon
- olive oil
- maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp creme fraiche
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Asparagus Tips: Bring some water to the boil in a saucepan and add the asparagus tips cook for thirty seconds and drain.
- 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.
- 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