Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lemon Asparagus Orzo Soup

Delicious chilly weather warming soup this is!  A hint of lemon with the asparagus flavor is a classic combination.  Orzo is a nice soup pasta.
     Recipe:  Boil enough rich chicken broth in a sauce pot to make a large bowl of soup with. 
     Add a few pinches of fine chopped shallot and garlic. 
     In a separate pan cook an equal amount of butter and flour over medium heat while stirring with a whisk to make a blonde roux.  The roux should give off a light hazelnut flavor when it reaches the blonde stage of color. 
     Add just enough roux to the soup while stirring to give the soup a light thin consistency. 
     Add a couple of sliced fresh sage leaves.
     Add a pinch of oregano.
     Add sea salt and white pepper. 
     Simmer the soup over medium heat.  Stir occasionally till the flavors meld with the broth. 
     Add thin bias sliced fresh asparagus stalks.  (Only use the tender parts of the stalks.) 
     Add a small handful of asparagus tips. 
     Simmer till the asparagus is tender but not over cooked. 
     Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 
     Add some al dente cooked orzo pasta. 
     Ladle the soup into a bowl. 
     Sprinkle fresh grated parmesan cheese across the soup.
     The thin body of the soup adds more character and captures more flavor than a plain broth version of this soup.  Roux is always better than adding a cornstarch slurry when thickening a soup.  You can make the roux with olive oil if you prefer a vegetarian version of this soup.  A butter roux does add a classic richness.  The sage and oregano are both lemon friendly herbs.  Floating the grated parmesan on top adds more complimentary flavor appeal.  Shallot is a much more refined flavor than onion.  It is hard to stop eating this soup after the first sip!  The flavors are so agreeable.  Yummy! ...  Shawna

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