Chilled Asparagus Soup
1kg/2¼lb asparagus, trimmed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large leeks, finely chopped
900ml/1½ pints/3⅔ cups vegetable stock
salt and ground black pepper
snipped fresh chives to serve
1 Cut the tips off the asparagus and set aside. Cut the stalks into short lengths.
2 Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat, add the onion and cook gently for 2–3 minutes. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until they are soft.
3 Add the asparagus stalks and stock and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
4 Cool a little, then blitz in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour the soup into a bowl and set aside to cool.
5 Add the asparagus tips to a pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 2–3 minutes until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
6 Stir the asparagus tips into the soup, cover and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.
7 To serve, stir enough iced water into the soup to get the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into chilled bowls, sprinkle with chives and serve.