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Traditional Cream of Asparagus Soup
From The Hors d'Oeuvre Bible, by David Paul Larousse


1 pound fat asparagus
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
pinch of nutmeg
6 Tbsp flour
3 cups chicken stock, hot
1 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
white pepper to taste
4 baguette croutons
2 Tbsp sour cream
4 sprigs fresh chervil


Trim the woody ends from the bottom of the asparagus, and discard. Peel the remaining spears, reserving the peels. Cut these spears in half, and finely chop the bottom halves. Cut the top halves into 1/4-inch pieces, blanch in lightly salted boiling water, and set aside.

Sauté the shallot, onion, bay leaf, peelings, and finely chopped asparagus in the butter. Add the nutmeg and flour, blend well, and cook 5 minutes without browning. Add the hot stock, blend thoroughly, and simmer 30 minutes. Purée in a blender or food processor, strain, and return to the fire. Add the cream and the blanched asparagus pieces, and adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper. Spread the croutons with the sour cream, top with a sprig of chervil, and serve on top of the soup.

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