Makes:6 to 8 servings
Though prized as the more regal asparagus by the Germans and French, white asparagus tends to take a backseat to green on this side of the Atlantic. But in this simple soup, it shines at center stage.
What to buy: Pistachio oil, with its nutty, multidimensional flavor, makes a sophisticated garnish for this light-bodied soup. You can find it at some health food stores or online. If you can’t locate it, walnut oil is a good substitute.
2 pounds white asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, peeled and large dice
3 cups water
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Pistachio oil, for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt, season with pepper, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the asparagus, potato, and another teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potato just starts to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the water, broth, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the asparagus is fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the lid from popping off). Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. To serve, divide the soup among bowls, drizzle with pistachio oil (if using), and sprinkle with pistachios.
Beverage pairing:Salomon Hochterrassen Grüner Veltliner, Austria. A delicacy across Europe, white asparagus has a mellow flavor and takes well to a little butter and seasoning. An accompanying wine should have richness, but not so much that it overtakes the delicacy of the asparagus. Grüner Veltliner, because of its slightly herbaceous qualities, is a natural pairing here. This particular version from Salomon is perched perfectly between richness and vibrancy to accentuate the dish.