This is a subtle and velvety elegant soup, which is made without cream. To preserve its pretty green color, do not let this soup come to a boil.
1 pound thick asparagus
1 medium brown onion
1 stalk of celery
1 small carrot
1 large Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold potato
1 quart rich vegetable stock
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and white pepper
Minced chives or chervil for garnish
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or olive oil
Snap the spears, the peel the parts you snapped. Cut the rest of the spear into smallish bits (1 inch), reserving the tips for garnish.
In a stock pot, heat vegetable stock over medium heat, and when it is hot, add the peeled bases to the stock. Reduce the heat so the stock is at a chuckle and cook the bases for 20 minutes or so. This will help build the flavor of the asparagus into the stock for the soup base.
Finely slice the leek and onion. Peel and finely slice the carrot, and finely slice the celery stalk. In a pot large enough to hold the finished soup, sauté them in the oil over medium heat until they are translucent.
Peel and medium dice the potato. Add it to the vegetables and sauté until all are quite soft.
Strain the hot stock into the pot. Add the chopped asparagus and simmer. (Remember–do not boil the soup!) for 5 minutes.
Carefully, puree the vegetables in the blender. Use just enough of the liquid to get it moving. (Remember–hot liquids in the blender want to explode out when the machine turns on. Only fill the machine partway and cover with a towel.)
Strain the puree into a fresh soup pot, and add enough stock to the puree to give it a nice smooth texture. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste.
Blanch the tips just long enough that they are no longer raw and garnish the soup with them. Sprinkle the soup with either chives or chervil.