Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Asparagus Soup & Pasta Carbonara

This meal has two components that I really love ~ green food, and a poached egg.  An asparagus soup is creamy, yet light and absolutely Springish.  But I was worried that it wouldn't be enough to hold the family over until breakfast, so I also decided to make a pasta carbonara.

Begin by breaking down the asparagus into three sections: the bottom, woody section, the tips, and finally the center section.  The bottom, typically useless section of tough asparagus will be used to flavor the stock, along with the dark green leek leaves.

Asparagus tips set aside

The woody asparagus bottoms, and dark green leek tops set aside

The white and light green parts of a leek sliced thinly, and the middle sections of the asparagus cut into sections

Chicken stock in the pressure cooker

It's beautiful!

Strain the stock, then add the dark green leek sections, and tough asparagus bottoms to it.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

Saute' the sliced leeks in melted goat's butter for 1 minute.

Saute' the asparagus middle sections for another 5 minutes, over medium heat.  Back to the simmering stock, strain out the dark leeks and tough asparagus.  Add to the stock the freshly sauteed leek and asparagus segments, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, or until tender.

Crisp pancetta, or bacon, cubes.

Add in 1/2 lb. cooked spaghetti, SnP, and a whole heap of fresh Parmesan.  Meanwhile, in a pot of simmering vinegar water I poached one egg per person, and let them drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Yes.  This is cream.  Calm down.

Add the cream to the simmered soup, and blend with your immersion blender.  If you don't have one, you could of course blend this in batches.  Taste for SnP, try to use freshly ground white pepper for the aesthetic value.

Blanch the asparagus tips in boiling water for 2 minutes, stop their cooking in an ice bath, then place a couple on the surface of your soup.

Place a serving of the pancetta-laced pasta on a dish, top with a freshly poached egg, and top that with SnP, parsley, and more Parmesan.

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