Cream of Asparagus Soup, poached egg & crisp smoked bacon

by Mark Broadbent

May 01st 2020

INGREDIENTS

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

Asparagus soup:

  • 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.

 

METHOD

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.

Asparagus soup:

  • In a pan, saut√© 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
  • Sieve
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Ladle
  • Serving vessel
  • Bowls
  • Pepper mill
  • Tea towel

 

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