Asparagus Soup with Roasted Shallots and Morels
- SERVINGS: 8
If you'd like to garnish the soup with asparagus tips, set aside 16 two-inch tips before cutting up the stalks. Blanch or sauté the tips separately.
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 pounds asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
- 6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 1/2 cup dried morel or porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large saucepan, combine the onion, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the oil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook until the asparagus are very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a bowl, soak the morels in the hot water until softened, about 20 minutes. Swirl to dislodge any grit; drain and chop.
- In a pie plate, toss the morels, shallots, remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the shallots are softened and lightly browned.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup plates, garnish with the mushroom mixture and serve.