Green Pea and Asparagus Bisque with Chive

Celebrating Sprouts of Spring. Possibly no two vegetables epitomize spring like peas and asparagus. Blanch, shock and freeze fresh asparagus to make this soup fresh any time of the year.
This soup is inspired by a delicious version served by Steven Howard at the divine KoKoa in Brookside, which closed many years ago. During warmer weather, we serve the soup both warm and chilled, drizzled with spicy chive oil. For a lower-fat option, substitute buttermilk for the cream and serve the soup cold. In the winter, serve it warm with a generous drizzle of truffle oil.
Photography By Brooke Allen | March 01, 2015

Instructions

Trim and discard tough woody ends from asparagus. Cut stalks into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Meanwhile, pour olive oil in a blender and add chopped chives. Blend until well combined. Pour oil through a cheesecloth lined strainer into a bowl, discarding any solid chives. The oil will keep, refrigerated, for a few weeks.

Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add stock and thyme and bring to a gentle simmer. Add asparagus and peas and cook until tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, discard thyme sprigs, season well with salt and pepper and purée in batches until smooth. Transfer soup to a clean pot, stir in cream and heat until warmed through. Serve immediately (or chill until ready to serve), topped with whipped or sour cream, pea shoots and chive oil.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound green asparagus
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch chives
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large leek (tender part only), sliced lengthwise then crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound shelled fresh, young peas (or frozen peas, thawed)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Whipped cream or sour cream, for serving
  • A small handful fresh, young pea-vine shoots, for serving
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