Chilled Asparagus Soup with Goat Cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 bunches asparagus
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Coat a large saucepan with olive oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and bring to a medium heat. Season with salt and sweat until the vegetables are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove the tips from the asparagus and reserve. Cut the stalks of the asparagus into 1-inch lengths and add them to the pot. Sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and the stock. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
On a separate burner, bring a small pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Have a small bowl of well-salted ice water on standby. Cook the asparagus tips in the boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes; remove them from the boiling water and immediately plunge them into the ice water. When the tips are cool, remove them from the water, pat dry and reserve.
In a blender, purée the asparagus stock mixture. Strain through a mesh strainer, if desired. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Chill until ready to serve.
To serve: Garnish with the reserved asparagus tips and crumbled feta cheese.
Adapted from Anne Burrell, foodnetwork.com