Asparagus and Pea Soup with Chervil
This Asparagus and Pea Soup is an easy and versatile spring or summer recipe. It can be served either hot or cold and works well as a light lunch or supper or as a first course at a dinner party.
I make lots of soups in autumn and winter – a home-made vegetable soup is one of my favourite lunches – but not so many in spring and summer. However, I have a few soups in my repertoire, like this Asparagus and Pea Soup (and also my Leek and Potato Soup with Fresh Chives) which are just as good, or better, eaten cold rather than hot. This is fantastic in a typical English summer, with variable weather, as you don’t know when you are making the soup whether you will need warming up with a piping hot bowl or cooling down!
In praise of fresh herbs
I use chervil, which has a delicate aniseed flavour, in this soup. It is one of my favourite summer herbs and is very easy to grow and will flourish in your garden or in a pot on your window-ledge. If you don’t grow it yourself, it may be hard to source and dill, which also has an aniseed flavour, or parsley or chives are good substitutes. A sprinkle of fresh herbs are a brilliant way of enhancing both the flavour and the look of a home-made soup.
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Delicious and versatile, as it can be eaten hot or cold, this Asparagus and Pea Soup, enhanced with fresh Chervil, is perfect for a light lunch or as a first course at a summer dinner party.
- 1 onion
- 2 large potatoes
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 250 g (8 oz) fresh asparagus
- 2 teaspoons of vegetable bouillon or stock powder
- 500 ml (1 pint) water
- 175 g (6 oz) frozen peas (defrosted)
- A little milk to thin the soup – around 250 ml (Half a pint)
- A bunch of chervil (or parsley or dill)
- A little double cream to serve
- Peel and chop the onion and the potatoes and put the pieces in a large pan with the butter. Fry gently for about 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
- Remove the ends of the asparagus stems as these can be woody and difficult to eat. The best way of doing this is to simply bend the stem and it will snap at the right point.
- Once you have removed the woody ends from the asparagus, cut the tip off each spear and set aside. Then chop the stalks into 1 cm sections.
- Add the pieces of chopped asparagus stalk to the pan with the onion and potato pieces. Add 500 ml of water and 2 teaspoons of vegetable bouillon or stock powder.
- Simmer for around 15 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked.
- Then add the frozen peas and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Put the soup into a blender (or use a hand blender) and process until smooth.
- Return the soup to the large pan. Add sufficient milk to thin the soup to the desired consistency – you may either want a thicker, chunkier soup or a thinner one.
- If you plan to serve the soup hot, put the reserved asparagus tips into the soup and they will cook in it while it is reheated. If you plan to serve the soup cold, it is best to steam the asparagus tips separately for 5 minutes and then add them to the soup just before serving.
- Serve topped with chopped chervil, or alternatively parsley, and a swirl of cream.
This soup is very versatile and can be served either hot or cold.
Keywords: asparagus and pea soup, asparagus, chervil, cold soup