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Roasted Asparagus Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche and Thyme Croutons

Roasted Asparagus Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche and Thyme Croutons

I’m in the middle of teaching cooking classes this week, so this post will be a quick one… Just wanted to share my recipe for Roasted Asparagus Soup with Lemon Creme Fraiche and Thyme Croutons. I am serving this as part of my menu this week… I will go through 40 pounds of asparagus when all is done!

I am a huge soup fan, no matter what time of year.   This soup celebrates one of my favorite spring time vegetables, asparagus.  To give this soup a flavor boost, I roast the asparagus, adding depth and a whole new dimension to the dish.  Rather than adding cream to the soup, I am using a chicken broth base and utilizing one gadget I absolutely love, my immersion blender!

My immersion blender allows me to control the texture of the soup, and adds body without adding additional fat. I garnish this soup with some lemon infused creme fraiche and thyme croutons. Creme fraiche is available in most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, you may use sour cream. Home made creme fraiche is super easy to make, and really delicious.  Here’s all you need:

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons buttermilk

Mason jar

Warm the cream in a saucepan to 95 degrees. Stir in the buttermilk. Pour into mason jar and cover loosely. Let stand in a warm place (75 degrees) until the cream has thickened slightly, 12 to 14 hours. Cover and store in the refrigerator.  It will keep for 10 days in the refrigerator.

Add some lump crab to this soup and you have a delicious entree!


Roasted Asparagus Soup with Lemon Crème Fraiche and Thyme Croutons

5 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (14 to 15 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup sliced shallots (about 6 large)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
Thyme Croutons

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine asparagus and oil on a  large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast  until asparagus pieces are soft , stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes; cool on sheet.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add coriander; stir 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add roasted asparagus; stir, and cook until asparagus is heated through , about 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree soup (or process in batches in blender).  Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Stir crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl. Divide soup among bowls. Top with dollop of lemon crème fraîche and  thyme croutons (recipe follows) and serve.

8 servings

Thyme Croutons

1/2 medium baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 375°. On a large baking sheet, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the bread cubes for 6 minutes, then toss with the thyme leaves. Bake for about 6 minutes longer, until the croutons are golden and crisp.
Makes 5 cups

Make Ahead: The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Recrisp in a warm oven before serving.