asparagus and pea soup
 

 

Lindsey Bareham

At last the British asparagus season is under way in earnest, so I’m making one of my favourite early summer soups. The combination of asparagus and peas with spring onions and potato results in a creamy, silky soup. The tips are saved for a luxurious garnish over a dollop of thick cream. The perfect start to nationalvegetarianweek.org.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 35 min

125g spring onions
30g butter
1 medium potato
400g British asparagus
¼ vegetable stock cube
100g frozen petits pois
150ml whipping or thick cream
A squeeze of lemon
A small bunch chives

Trim and finely chop the spring onions. Soften, covered, in the butter in a medium pan with a pinch of salt. Scrape, dice and rinse the potato. Cut off the asparagus tips. Bring 250ml water to the boil in a small pan and boil the tips for 1 min. Strain the water into a jug and make up to 1 litre with boiling water from the kettle. Cut off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus and chop the rest of the stalk.

Stir the potato and asparagus into the softened onion. Add the water and crumbled stock cube. Simmer for 20 min, add the peas and cook for a further 5 min. Liquidise in batches for several minutes. Pass through a sieve back into the pan, forcing with a wooden spoon, to catch any fibrous strings. Reheat with most of the cream and add salt and lemon to taste. Serve with a dollop of cream, topped by a share of the tips and finely snipped chives.