Recipe from

TRUE NORTH

by Derek Dammann and Chris Johns

INGREDIENTS

8 cups chicken stock

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 fresh bay leaf

1 cup white wine

Kosher salt

Black pepper

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed

1 bunch fresh sorrel leaves

A handful of fresh tender herbs such as parsley, chervil or tarragon

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

Zest of 1 lemon

Finely chopped chives and torn fresh chive blossoms
or borage flowers or other edible petals to garnish

METHOD

Timing is everything in this recipe, so set up a blender and have ready a bowl of ice water. In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the onion, celery, carrot and bay leaf until the vegetables are soft. Remove the bay leaf and deglaze the pan with the wine. Let the alcohol simmer off. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the mirepoix from the heat. Plunge half the asparagus into the boiling stock and cook, uncovered, until it is tender and bright green, just 1 or 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, skim the asparagus out of the boiling stock and plunge it into the ice bath to cool. Bring the stock back to a full boil and blanch the remaining asparagus; cool it in the ice bath. Drain the asparagus and pat dry. Add the mirepoix to the stock. Bring back up to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. In the blender, and working in batches, blend some of the asparagus, sorrel and herbs with 2 cups of the stock mixture until very smooth. Strain the soup through a sieve into a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and maintain the bright green colour. Repeat until all the vegetables have been blended. Stir in the vinegar and lemon zest, then season with salt and pepper. The soup should have a fresh, bright flavour. To serve, gently reheat the soup and serve in warmed bowls. Garnish with the chives and chive blossoms.

SERVES 6