Springtime Asparagus Soup with Fried Eggs. I call it Brunch Soup!
If green garlic or scapes are not available you can add 1 small garlic clove to 4 ounces chopped scallions.
- 6 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup crushed dried morel mushrooms (or other variety dried mushroom)
- 2 pound thick springtime asparagus (trimmed to about 6 or 7 inches)
- 4 ounce trimmed and chopped green garlic or scapes (use the whites, light green, and some of the dark green parts depending on strength)
- 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- sea salt and white pepper (to taste)
- 4 large eggs
- 4 slice crusty bread (lightly toasted)
Place the broth and dried mushrooms in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat. Let the flavors steep at least one hour, then strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, double-lined with damp cheese cloth. Set the broth aside. Save the reconstituted mushrooms for another use.
Choose the prettiest 4 asparagus spears, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut in half crosswise; set aside. Using a vegetable peeler, lightly peel the remaining asparagus spears to within about 3‑inches of the tip (peeling the asparagus is optional, but will improve texture). Chop the peeled asparagus into 1‑inch pieces.
Place peeled asparagus, green garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 3 to 4 quart sauce pot. Add enough of the strained broth to barely cover the vegetables, about 4 generous cups (save the remaining broth for another use or to adjust conistency). Bring to a boil, lower the heat, then cover the pan and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool somewhat. Use an immersion blender to puree the vegetables until smooth. If you need to add a little more broth to get the mixture moving that’s fine. You may alternatively work in batches to carefully puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Season with sea salt and white pepper.
Heat a large, dry, 12-inch cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the reserved sliced asparagus quarters into the skillet, arranging them in a single layer cut side down. Cook undisturbed until until lightly charred on one side. Toss, and cook another minute or so. Turn the heat to medium and immediately move the asparagus to a plate and cover with foil to allow the steam to continue cooking the asparagus; set aside.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add remaining 2 tablespoon oil. Fry eggs as you like in oil; season to taste with sea salt and white pepper.
Meanwhile gently reheat the soup, stirring often, then ladle the soup into shallow soup bowls. Top with fried eggs and lightly charred asparagus. Serve immediately with crusty bread on the side.