Idma Soup

A creamy, filling soup with small chicken quenelles, Idma Soup is a meal in itself. Serve with crusty bread and butter.

1 oz. butter

1 onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons flour

2 pints chicken stock

8 oz. asparagus tips

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 oz. butter

2 oz. flour

4 tablespoons double cream

4 oz. cooked chicken, finely minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon salt -½ teaspoon black pepper teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon curry powder

First, make the quenelles. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the cream. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is very thick and smooth.

Stir in the chicken, egg, salt, pepper, cayenne and curry powder. Combine the mixture thoroughly and remove the pan from the heat. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.

With floured hands, shape the mixture into small balls. Lay the balls on a plate and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the soup. 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 it 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 asparagus, salt, pepper and cayenne.

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 for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soup through a fine wire strainer held over another medium-sized saucepan. With the back of a wooden spoon, rub the vegetables through the strainer. Discard any pulp remaining in the strainer. Alter-natively, puree the soup in an electric blender.

Return the pan to moderately low heat. Remove the quenelles from the refrig-erator and drop them into the soup. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the quenelles are cooked.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soup into a warmed soup tureen or individual soup bowls and serve im-mediately.

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