Since we are heavily into asparagus season, here is a lovely soup recipe. The tarragon imparts a slight anise flavor. Serve this soup with a salad and some really good bread.
Asparagus Tarragon Soup
1½ lbs asparagus
2 tsp olive oil
¼ cup shallots, minced
3 Tbs tarragon, chopped
14½ oz can vegetable stock
salt and pepper, to taste
Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Coarsely chop asparagus. In a 4 – 5 quart pan over medium heat, stir olive oil and shallots until shallots are limp, about 3 minutes.
Add asparagus, 1½ Tbs tarragon, vegetable broth, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook until asparagus is tender-crisp when pierced, about 3 minutes.
In a blender, purée soup until smooth, a portion at a time. Season with salt and pepper. Return soup to pan and stir over high heat until steaming. Ladle into bowls and top with crème fraîche and tarragon.