- In recognition of the longest day of the year, Mother Nature decided to turn up the thermostat here in Virginia on the first day of summer, and she hasn’t looked back. I wish I could call it a heatwave(which would mean at some point that wave would crest and return to normal), but heat and humidity go hand in hand when you are talking about summertime in the south, so with the warm weather here to stay, it looks like it is time to crank up the a/c and make some chilled soup…and just in time for this month’s 5 Star Makeover Event:
- I think chilled soups are a really nice addition to summer menus; offering a refreshing break from the day’s heat, and the chance to showcase summer flavors with a different approach to presentation.
- Another bonus is that the soup will be made ahead and chilled, which means it is ready for a quick bite on the go, or may be added to a complete menu.
- For this soup, asparagus is quickly roasted to warm up the flavor, then whirled together with sauteed leeks & chicken broth to create the base. Buttermilk and lemon juice brighten the soup, and add a bit of tang. You could stop here and enjoy it just the way it is, but I like to garnish with something like crispy prosciutto or in this case, truffle whipped marscapone cheese. Either way, this soup will cool you off, and keep you looking pretty good in your bikini!
- Chilled Asparagus and Leek Soup with Truffle Whipped Marscapone Cream
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- Salt and white pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 leek (white and light green part only), thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup buttermilk
For the garnish:
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Toss the asparagus with salt, pepper, two tablespoons olive oil, and one tablespoon lemon juice. Place them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for five minutes, or until the asparagus are tender and still bright green.
Sauté the leek in remaining olive oil over medium heat for four to five minutes, or until tender. Put the asparagus, leek, and chicken stock in a blender, working in batches if necessary, and purée the vegetables. Pour into a large bowl and add the buttermilk and remaining lemon juice. Combine well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least one hour. The soup may be made and refrigerated for up to one day in advance.
Whisk the cheese and cream. Fold in the truffle oil. Season with salt and pepper. Put a dollop on top of each serving of soup. Sprinkle with fresh chives.