Iced Asparagus Soup

Iced Asparagus Soup is a creamy and delicately flavoured soup to serve cold as a first course, with crusty bread or grissini. It is also delicious served hot.

4-6

1 oz. butter

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons flour

2 pints chicken stock

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon celery salt

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed, washed and chopped

10 fl. oz. single cream

½ cups light cream

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the chicken stock, being careful to avoid lumps. Stir in the salt, black pepper, celery salt, nutmeg and asparagus.

Return the pan to the heat and bring the soup to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the asparagus is very tender.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soup through a fine wire strainer held over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using the back of a wooden spoon, rub the asparagus through the strainer. Alter-natively, puree the soup in a blender.

Stir in the cream and pour the soup into a chilled soup tureen, or individual soup bowls. Allow the soup to cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator for 2 hours and serving.

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