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Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Shortbread Coins. Photo © David Malosh
© David Malosh

Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Shortbread Coins

  • ACTIVE: 50 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

"I adore savory cheese cookies with creamy asparagus soup," says Carla Hall. "Both are dead simple to make."

Plus: Vegetable Tips and Recipes

Shortbread

  1. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (6 ounces)
  3. 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  4. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  5. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  6. 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  7. 2 large egg yolks

Soup

  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  3. 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  4. 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  5. 1/4 cup tarragon leaves, plus more for garnish
  6. 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley leaves
  7. 3/4 cup heavy cream
  8. 1/2 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
  9. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  10. Finely grated lemon zest, for garnish
  1. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour, cheese, thyme, lemon zest and salt. Add the butter and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until lightly moistened crumbs form. Gather the crumbs and knead to form a 2-inch-thick log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Slice the log 1/4 inch thick and arrange on the baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden around the edges; let cool on the sheets.
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the 1/4 cup of tarragon and the parsley. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot, add the cream and peas; rewarm. Season with salt and white pepper and garnish with tarragon and zest. Serve with the Parmesan coins.
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