This soup is supremely life-giving: It tastes so stridently of vegetables you can't help but feel healthy and virtuous while eating it. Asparagus and vegetable broth spiked with sweet shallots, basil, and a touch of crème fraîche get blended together as a creamy, thick, verdant, fresh, and ever so slightly tangy soup.
- 1 shy tablespoon olive oil or butter or a mixture of both
- 1 extra large shallot, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and diced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 5 large basil leaves, plus extra for serving
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, plus extra for serving
Heat the butter or olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and sauté until soft and fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the asparagus and vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the asparagus is very tender: 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender, and add the basil and crème fraîche. Purée until completely smooth. Ladle into bowls, and top with a dollop of crème fraîche and a chiffonade of fresh basil.