This particular platter of spaghetti was too delicious to ignore so I purchased my sumptuous morel mushrooms, steamed the asparagus, sliced the garlic, minced the shallots and further set to work! Now, the dried morels that the recipe suggests are nearly prohibitive in cost, so I bought fresh instead, and they were about a quarter of the price. I substituted some dried Polish mushrooms as well, that we had on hand, to steep into my broth and then tossed the halved morels in toward the end. I love asparagus and the meaty morels all worked together admirably to make such a delicious (and fairly easy) pasta dish with a wonderful zing from lemon juice and lemon zest. As the recipe only requires the asparagus tips, what then to do with the stems? There were also morels remaining so Baby and I devised a velvety soup that I believe ought to be served chilled for an elegant opening lunch course. Save a few snipped asparagus tips to garnish your fragrant, rich, nourishing soup!
Click here for Leah Koenig's Morel and Asparagus Spaghetti recipe, adapted from Food52.com!
Chilled Asparagus and Morel Soup
Serves 4 as an appetizer
8 oz asparagus stalks, steamed
A handful of fresh morels
3/4 cup cream
1 1/2 cups canned vegetable stock
1 medium shallot
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup olive oil
A few shakes of dried thyme, about 1/2 a teaspoon
A dash or two Sriracha, to taste
Grinds of salt and pepper, to taste
1 capful red wine vinegar
Except for the red wine vinegar and olive oil, throw everything into a blender, preferably a Vitamix. It's that easy! Use your intuition for personal taste; perhaps you might like to add more of the gentle shallots, or amp up the Sriracha for heat. Blend for a few minutes until thoroughly combined, and while the motor is still running, drizzle the olive oil into your soup in a slow stream to emulsify. Pause briefly and then add the red wine vinegar. Pulse several times. Chill for at least two hours, beautifully garnish with your asparagus tips and do enjoy!