Cold Asparagus Soup with Grilled Watermelon

Cold Asparagus Soup with Grilled Watermelon Recipe

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I live for asparagus. I’ve grilled it, made risottos, meat dishes and more in the past. I’ve made soups before as well, but given that it’s still summer, I figured a cold asparagus soup would fit the bill.

I chose to cook with baby green asparagus spears because they're ultra tender and the color looks attractive. I kept the tips for a simple side dish of pan-fried fish fillets in butter and capers. The asparagus were grilled with olive oil so they were fragrant, then softened in vegetable broth until tender. I finished the soup by blending the asparagus with a little crème fraîche. The cold summer soup is refreshing, tasty, simple, yet very festive.

For a complete vegetarian presentation, I paired the soup with white balsamic grilled watermelon, which is in season. You could also add quail egg Niçoise salad or crab salad.

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Yields: 6 servings

1-½ pounds small asparagus spears
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups vegetable stock
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, slightly toasted
2 sprigs tarragon
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 tablespoons curly parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
¼ watermelon, cut into small wedges
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar


Preparing the asparagus:

Trim about 1 inch from the tip of the spears. Reserve tips for another recipe.

Brush the grill with olive oil. Lightly coat the asparagus using a silicone brush. Place the asparagus and tarragon sprigs on the grill. Cook until you get grill marks (about 2-3 minutes on each side) over medium heat. Do not overcook; it should be still tender and crisp. Chop the asparagus.

In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the asparagus and coriander seeds. Cover with vegetable stock. Bring to boil. Let simmer for about 5 minutes until tender, depending on the thickness of the asparagus.

Pour the asparagus in a blender. For a smoother flow, add the crème fraîche and 1 tablespoon curly parsley. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Note: I used young asparagus spears so they weren't fibrous. I blended the vegetables until well combined. The soup can be prepared in advance.

Making white balsamic syrup: In a small saucepan, reduce the balsamic vinegar by bringing it to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes (it should reduce by half). Allow the thick syrup to cool to room temperature.

Grilling the watermelon: Make sure the watermelon is chilled. Pat dry the watermelon pieces with paper towels. Brush with olive oil. Place the watermelon on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until you get grill marks. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

Assembly time:
Place the asparagus soup into chilled glasses. Garnish with asparagus spears (if used), coriander seeds and curly parsley. Finish with a sprinkle of black pepper.

Serve with the grilled watermelon on the side.

Bon appétit!

Cold Asparagus Soup Recipe with Picture


You could also top the soup with crab meat for a salty note.

Griled Watermelon Recipe with Picture
Doesn't grilled watermelon "steak" looks like tuna?

For a healthier version, you could replace the crème fraîche with milk.

You can use any other vegetables that are in season, such as green beans, squash or zucchini.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 30, 2011.


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