Asparagus – or Celery – Velouté with Bacon Croutons

Velouté means velvet, and that defines this soup perfectly! I have made several versions of this soup and each time, everyone loves it! This soup can serve as a starter for a heartier dish like Boeuf or Lapin Bourguignon, or serve a larger portion for a full meal. This dish seems really impressive, but it has always been a way for me to use up leftover ingredients.

After the High Tea, I had leftover heavy cream from making Clotted Cream, leftover bread ends from the Tea Sandwiches, some onions that were starting to grow a bit, bacon that needed cooking soon, and a three and a half pound bag of asparagus from the market that I semi-forgot about. This soup is also a great option for using up a pound or two of celery that is too soft! Find both versions of the recipe below! Whichever recipe you choose, serve it with bacon croutons. You can use any kind of bread you like, but I find a slightly sweet bread like my Sandwich Bread or a brioche works best.

Asparagus Velouté

IMG_2382

4 tbsp butter
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 pounds asparagus, trimmed, ends removed, and sliced into 2 inch pieces (reserve about 10 asparagus tops to serve)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp chicken broth concentrate
4 cups of half and half or 1 cup heavy cream and 3 cups milk
1 1/2 cup arugula
1-2 cups water (if needed to thin)

  1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven.
  2. Sauté onions for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, sauté for 2 additional minutes.
  4. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add chicken broth concentrate and sauté for five minutes.
  6. Add milk and or cream. Bring to boil, lower and cook for 15 minutes on low simmer.
  7. Add arugula and mix.
  8. Blend with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Add water or more milk if the soup is too thick.
  9. Taste and season.
  10. Quickly blanch the reserved asparagus heads, I sliced them lengthwise in half and blanched for 30 seconds.
  11. Serve with Bacon Croutons and asparagus heads as garnish.

Celery Velouté

IMG_0009

4 tbsp butter
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 – 2 heads celery, sliced (reserve baby leaves at the heart for garnish)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp chicken broth concentrate
4 cups of half and half or 1 cup heavy cream and 3 cups milk
1 cup parsley, chopped
1-2 cups water (if needed to thin)
1/8 tsp paprica

  1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven.
  2. Sauté onions for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, sauté for 2 additional minutes.
  4. Add celery, season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add chicken broth concentrate and sauté for twenty minutes.
  6. Add milk and or cream. Bring to boil, lower and cook for 30 minutes on low simmer.
  7. Add parsley and mix.
  8. Blend with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Add water or more milk if the soup is too thick.
  9. Taste and season.
  10. Serve with Bacon Croutons and reserved celery leaves as garnish.

Bacon Croutons

1 tsp butter
4-5 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups bread, cut into 1/4 – 1/3 inch cubes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

  1. Heat butter in cast iron skillet.
  2. Add bacon and cook for 5-7 minutes, until crispy.
  3. Add bread cubes and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until the butter and oil is absorbed and the croutons are crispy.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooking time: 40 minutes Asparagus Velouté, 1 hour 10 min Celery Velouté
Serves 8 as small dish or 4-6 as dinner course

4 Comments Add yours

  1. chefkreso says:

    Looks incredible, must be really rich in flavour 😀

    Like

    1. It is one of my favorite soup preparations! I will try it with cabbage next, maybe with some preserved lemon or cilantro and cream!

      Liked by 1 person

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