Asparagus Soup with Crispy Prosciutto
The Sacramento Delta boasts some of the best asparagus in the world. As soon as it comes into season we're doing just about everything with it. Spring garlic and spring onions are also in season at the same time, which we substitute for the leeks, shallot and garlic.
3 lbs fresh asparagus, washed
8 cups vegetable stock
4 tablespoons Cobram Estate® Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for garnish
1 cup minced shallots
1 cup minced leeks (just the whites)
1 cup minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup heavy cream
12 thin slices of prosciutto
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place prosciutto slices on a parchment lined sheet tray and bake for about ten minutes, or until crispy. Remove and let cool on a paper towel lined plate.
2. Begin by cutting the woody ends from the asparagus, usually the bottom two inches. Place the vegetable stock on the stove and add the asparagus trimmings to infuse at a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove asparagus bottoms with a slotted spoon and discard.
3. In a medium, thick-bottomed stock pot, cook the shallot, garlic and leek in the olive oil until soft; about three to five minutes. Chop the asparagus into half inch pieces and add to the pot. Add the salt, reserved asparagus infused stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for twenty to thirty minutes or until asparagus is tender and stock is well infused.
4. Blend the soup with an immersion blender, slowly adding the cream and salt to taste. Pass through a fine strainer to remove any asparagus fibers.
5. Serve hot in a bowl with a liberal drizzling of olive oil and the crispy prosciutto crumbled on top.