asparagus soup – serves 4

800g asparagus, woody ends removed
50g butter
2 echallion shallots, chopped
200g unsmoked streaky bacon lardons
500ml chicken stock
250ml vegetables
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