Asparagus Soup with Saffron

Asparagus Soup with Saffron

aspsoup4 1/2-5 C. vegetable stock

1/4 tsp. saffron threads

3 1/2-4 lbs. asparagus

4 T. unsalted butter

1 large russet potato

1/2 C. heavy cream or milk, optional

Salt and pepper

1/4 C. fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 C. small croutons, optional


In small saucepan, bring 1/2 C. stock to boil over high heat. Add crushed saffron; remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Trim off tough stem ends from asparagus, and then cut each spear into 2-inch lengths. In large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add asparagus pieces and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add potato (peeled and diced), saffron infusion and 4 C. stock. Bring to gentle boil over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until asparagus and potato are very soft, 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pan; heat gently to serving temperature. Add cream or milk (if using) and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add remaining 1/2 C. stock if soup is too thick. Ladle soup into warmed bowls. Top each serving with equal amount of chopped parsley and croutons (each about 1/2 inch square), if desired. Serve at once.








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