800g asparagus, woody ends removed
2 echallion shallots, chopped
200g unsmoked streaky bacon lardons
500ml chicken stock
180g shredded ham hock
a drizzle of basil oil
Heat the oven to 200C
Reserve 8 thinner asparagus spears. Coat these in olive oil and roast in the oven for 8 minutes.
Melt 25g of butter in a saucepan and add the shallots and bacon. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat until soft but not coloured.
Add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 4 minutes. Add the remaining butter and remove from the heat. Liquidise thoroughly, in batches if necessary.
Season to taste, then gently re-warm the soup.
Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and drizzle each bowl with some basil oil and top with two of the reserved roasted asparagus.
Can be served warm or chilled