Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Creme of Asparagus Soup

or Potage Creme D'Asperes

For Mother's Day (early in May) my lovely next door neighbour (daughter) bought me a rather unusual book, Eating with Emperors by Jake Smith.  It is really quite beautiful with a regal dark blue and gold flocked cover. It is a combination of historic photos and menus splashed with recipes. It is intriguing and every time I walked past my buffet (it hadn't made it up onto the bookshelf yet and was looking strongly random) I would flick aimlessly through it, reading little snippets. I walked by it that many times I thought it was time to cook something from it before I put it away.

The last recipe is this Asparagus Soup from the menu of the Shah of Iran for his guest Prince Bertil of Sweden (2 December 1970).

Imperial Palace Garden Lunch Tehran 

Asparagus has looked so wonderful lately (I am addicted to the stuff), what a perfect inclusion for Belleau Kitchen's May Random Recipes Challenge - "First and Last". So I made both. 
This is the last recipe first ;

500gms fresh asparagus - chopped and blanched
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons corn flour
Salt and pepper
11/2 cups of chicken stock
11/2 cups cream
2 tablespoons sherry

  • Melt butter in a saucepan and add onion salt and pepper.
  • Saute until onions are transparent, slowly stir through corn flour
  • Gradually add chicken stock and bring mixture to the boil
  • Add asparagus for a minute or two (depending on thickness)
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Once cooled puree in a blender 
  • Slowly reheat the pureed mixture in a saucepan and add cream and sherry.
Tips : The cream made it a very rich soup and half the cream content could certainly be replaced by milk and the sherry omitted for a lighter taste.
This was not a very impressive looking soup but the taste......... lovely and very rich, the sherry gave it an underlying depth,  obviously perfect for a Prince.


  1. what a fabulous book!... I love it and would love to see all the recipes... what a great idea... and as for that soup, it looks incredible and is just so in season now I simply MUST make it!... thanks so much for finding the time to squeeze me in, I do love having you on board x

    1. Thanks Dom, I'll lend you my book from time to time on my blog how's that? Its quite an intriguing gift and you wouldn't believe how many times I pick it up and read some interesting little historical tidbit.

  2. What a beautiful book, the soup looks wonderful as well : )

    1. It really is a gorgeous book too nice to be handled in the kitchen!

  3. I'm so intrigued by this book! The soup recipe is so simple and elegant ... cornflour, huh?

  4. Yes so simple yet elegant enough to service at a palatial luncheon. Book available on Amazon ( I should have put the link in my blog but forgot!).

  5. An amazing book! And a delicious looking soup too.

  6. I love homemade Asparagus soup - this sounds particularly delicious although I'm surprised that you need cornflour! Having said that, the soup doesn't look as though it is too thick, it obviously works.

    1. The longer the soup sat (eg leftovers) the more it seemed to get thicker, so perhaps the cornflour would not have been necessary but I was following instructions. But it was rich and definitely delicious. As I mentioned it probably could have done with half cream half milk. And the asparagus was so gooooood. I love it.

  7. What a FABULOUS book and an amazing bowl of soup too.....it all looks so comforting for the wintry summer we are having!

    1. The only problem with this book is that you have to be very careful with it in the kitchen - probably more suited to the coffee table. If you like asparagus this certainly does not fail to please.