Vegetable stock / brodo:
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery
- 1 leek
- Half a head of fennel
- Woody ends of 6-8 asparagus spears
- 100g button or chestnut mushrooms
- 1 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 smoked bacon rind
- Handful of parsley stalks
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- Tsp black peppercorns
- 2L cold water
- Bunch of / 12 asparagus spears
- 2 eggs (1 per bowl)
- 2 smoked streaky bacon rinds
- Large dollop of creme fraiche
- 1 lemon
- Small handful of chives
- Small handful of finely grated pecorino
- Plenty of butter
- Sea salt to taste
- Milled black pepper, to serve
- Glug of Extra Virgin olive oil, to serve
MISE EN PLACE
- Wash / rinse all the vegetables under cold water.
- Peel and roughly chop the veg for the stock.
- Trim the parsley stalks ready to use for stock.
- Roast the onions in olive oil for 30-40 minutes at 180 Fan/200C/Gas 6.
- Trim the heads of the asparagus spears and cut length ways.
- Chop the asparagus spears into small pieces.
- Finely grate the lemon zest and pecorino, then mix with the creme fraiche.
- Cut the chives into 1cm batons.
- Fry the bacon until crisp and chop into small pieces.
- Put a large deep pan of water on to boil for the eggs.
Vegetable stock / brodo:
- Add all the stock vegetables to a large pot, including the roasted onions.
- Cover with 2L cold water.
- As it comes to the boil add the peppercorns, bay leaves and star anise and skim off any scum on the surface.
- Reduce to a gentle simmer for 1 hour.
- Strain through a muslin or fine sieve for a nice clean stock.
- Reduce the stock further for 10-15 minutes on a gentle simmer.
- In a pan, sauté the chopped asparagus pieces in plenty of butter over a low heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the hot stock and gently poach the asparagus for 4 minutes.
- Add the tips for the last 2 minutes, then remove and reserve.
- Blend the mixture on high in a liquidiser.
- Turn the pan of boiling water right down to a low simmer. Crack the eggs into a small cup, then carefully drop them into the water close to the rim. They should form a teardrop shape as they fall down to the bottom of the pan. Time for 2 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and cool in cold water for a minute.
- Ladle the soup into your bowl and place the egg in the middle of the bowl.
- Add a dollop of the creme fraiche mixture to the side of the egg.
- Scatter the crispy bacon pieces and asparagus tips throughout the bowl.
- Garnish with chive batons, milled black pepper and a good glug of olive oil.
BATTERIE DE CUISINE
- Cooking pot
- Wooden spoon
- Box grater
- Chopping board
- Serving vessel
- Pepper mill
- Tea towel
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