- 1 bunch (approx. 1 lb) white asparagus
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cubed
- 4 c unsalted chicken stock
- ⅛ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ c half and half
- 1-3 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 small bunch (½ c) Italian parsley
- 1 sprig tarragon, leaves removed
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 lemon, zested or 1 tbsp preserved lemon peel, finely chopped
To prepare asparagus, snap woody ends off, and remove fibrous skin with a vegetable peeler, just below the flower heads. Cut asparagus into ½-inch pieces.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add asparagus, onion and sea salt. Cook over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, until mixture begins to soften and onion is translucent.
Add potato and stock to pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once mixture begins to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. The mixture will be very tender at this point.
While asparagus-potato mixture is cooking, make the gremolata. Wash and dry the herbs very well. Chop the parsley and the tarragon. Pile the herbs together on a cutting board. Mince the garlic and add the lemon zest over the herbs. Finely chop it all together to combine flavors.
Once asparagus-potato mixture has simmered for 20 minutes, work in batches to carefully transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender or use an immersion blender to process until completely smooth and creamy. Add white pepper and blend again. If any stringy bits of asparagus remain, you can run the pureed soup through a sieve or food mill.
Return the soup to the pot, and simmer on low. Stir in the half and half and add the lemon juice, to taste.
Season soup with salt and more pepper if desired. Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with herb gremolata.
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