CHILLED WHITE ASPARAGUS SOUP WILD CHERVIL, CHIVE BLOSSOMS
AT THE RESTAURANT, we extract the full flavor of the denser white Asparagus stems for this thick nutty velouté. The blended potato creates a smoother, creamier consistency that supports in the center a quenelle of chervil whipped cream awaiting the spoon.
Fill a large saucepan with 2 gallons of water. Add the sugar and season with salt. Bring to a boil, add the asparagus stems and tips, and boil for 9 minutes, or until easily pierced with a cake tester. Strain and cut ¼ cup of brunoise from the stems and reserve. Slice the tips in quarters lengthwise; reserve, chilled.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 6 minutes, until tender but not colored. Add the potato, the remaining asparagus stems, and the chicken stock. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl set over ice. Chill, then season with salt, pepper, and the lemon juice. Reserve, chilled.
For the Wild Chervil Cream
Pour 4 tablespoons of the cream into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a blender with the chervil leaves and puree until smooth. Pass through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl placed over ice. Chill well, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons cream. Whip the cream to stiff peaks and reserve, chilled.
For each serving, place a spoonful of the reserved brunoised asparagus stems in the center of a chilled bowl. Arrange 3 asparagus tip quarters around the brunoise, standing them upright. Gently pour the soup into the bowl. Top the brunoise with a nasturtium leaf and a spoonful of the wild chervil cream. Garnish the soup with 3 drops of the wild chervil oil, 3 wild chervil leaves, and 3 chive blossoms.