Preparation / Directions:
Cut off 2-inch pieces from the tip ends of the asparagus. Reserve. Cut off
the tough stem ends and discard them. Cut the remaining stems into 1-inch
pieces. Process the stem pieces, the potato, leek and onion with the metal
blade of a food processor until coarsely chopped; pulse 3 times, then
continuously for 5 seconds. Scrape down the work bowl as necessary.
Melt half the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the chopped vegetables,
seasoned with salt and pepper, over moderate heat for about 2 minutes. (This
reduces the vegetables' acidity.) Add the water, thyme and bay leaf and
to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10
Drain the liquid and return it to the saucepan. Process the solids and 1/4
cup of the cooking liquid with the metal blade until smooth, about 1 minute.
Whisk the puree back into the remaining liquid in the saucepan. Season with
salt and pepper.
Bring slowly to the boil. Add the reserved asparagus tips and boil,
uncovered, for 3 1/2 minutes. Add the shrimp and the remaining 2 tablespoons
of butter and simmer, whisking, just until the shrimp are cooked through,
about 1 minute.
Divide among 4 warmed shallow soup dishes and garnish with chives.
Makes 3 1/2 cups
I did not like potato-leek teased soups until one day, by accident, I
butter into the potatoes. This produced an improved flavor and refined
texture. Now I make many soups with the potato-leek base used her