The wonderful but all-too-brief British asparagus season is upon us. This simple chilled soup recipe celebrates this succulent vegetable by pairing it with a delicate combination of lemongrass and coconut. The end result is a delicious, creamy and beautifully flavoured soup.
- Press on the lemongrass stalk with a rolling pin or the back of a heavy bladed knife until it cracks along the stem.
- Remove the woody stem of each asparagus spear by holding the asparagus spear in one hand about two thirds of the way down from the delicate tip. In the other hand hold it lower down, near the base. Gently bring your hands towards each other, bending the asparagus spear until it snaps. The woody part can be put in your compost.
- Pour the olive oil into a large pan and set over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and celery and cook, stirring regularly for five minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Stir in the asparagus, the lemongrass stalk and the sea salt, then add the coconut milk and the vegetable stock.
- Bring the contents of the ban to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for to room temperature. Remove the lemongrass stalk. Use a food processor or stick blender to blend the soup until it is smooth and creamy.
- Store the soup in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.