Top this Cold Asparagus Soup with Roasted Shrimp with Shaved Asparagus Nests for a fabulous holiday luncheon dish.
That’s exactly what I’m doing! This lovely Spring soup will be part of my “French-Themed” Mother’s Day Luncheon this year.
My plating choice was to make fun Shaved Asparagus Nests and then up the ante with the addition of roasted shrimp! It’s truly worthy of a very special occasion meal.
When you start out with a wonderful selection of fresh Spring vegetables, it’s hard not to make a delicious soup!
This recipe calls for two pounds of asparagus. I know that seems like a lot, but when you are making Shaved Asparagus Nests too, you’ll see how fast it will be used up!
I love the combination of leeks, shallots and celery as the base of this soup. The leeks and shallots don’t overpower the asparagus’ delicate flavor like onion might do.
Don’t worry about the cream in this recipe, as it is added at the end, and is used sparingly, I can assure you.
You’ll want to be careful when blending the soup to a creamy and silky texture in your blender. But otherwise, this soup is a snap to make and doesn’t take much time in the kitchen either. The longest part of this recipe is the time it takes for the soup to chill in the refrigerator before serving!
First you’ll sweat the vegetables over medium-low heat to soften them and give them a chance to sweeten a bit. The idea is to season and cook them, but make sure you don’t let them take on any color. You don’t want your soup to be bitter or a strange color!
Next the wine is added and cooked off for a few minutes. If you don’t want to use alcohol, just substitute some vegetable broth instead. Personally, I really think that the wine gives this soup some of it’s individuality, and wouldn’t recommend skipping it if possible.
Then the asparagus and broth is added and cooked for about 10 minutes. After the mixture cools, you’ll process it in batches in a Vita-Mix type or immersion blender until silky and smooth. Add the cream, adjust the seasonings and CHILL, BABY CHILL!
Wow, so you can see just how easy and unintimidating a creamy vegetable soup can be. If you want to serve this soup hot, give it a gentle heating after you add the cream. Same goes for serving it hot at a later time. The soup will last in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.
Just before serving, I toss in a hefty tablespoon of freshly chopped chives to liven up the soup.
Want to see a variation on plating your Cold Asparagus Soup with Roasted Shrimp? Especially for serving as part of a buffet, “shooters” can be a lovely way to serve this soup.
To make this recipe a bit more fancy for my Mother’s Day Luncheon, I chose to “gild the lily”. Both Shaved Asparagus Nests and Roasted Shrimp add a ton of flair to the dish’s presentation and make it party-worthy.
For shaved asparagus, buy fat spears for the best results. I won’t lie to you, you’ll need to use a mandolin (carefully with the protective sleeve please!) or a very sharp long knife.
But, I found that once I got into the groove, it went pretty quickly. Each bowl will need about 4-5 strips each. Some of your first tries might not be usable… I speak from experience!
If you’re using a mandolin, start with the fat, trimmed end and finish with the tips. I like to cut some of the tips off beforehand to add to the nests during plating. I know, it’s cheating a little, but the results are lovely.
The strips will be blanched in the broth used for the soup, so they’re really not that much more trouble to do.
As for the shrimp garnish, it’s just a matter of giving them a fast dash into the oven while you’re making the soup. See, that takes only a bit of effort and no extra time at all!
Here’s the rundown for plating your soup so it looks just like the ones in my pictures.
NAN’S TIP: IF SERVING YOUR SOUP OUTDOORS, CHILL THE BOWLS FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES BEFORE PLATING.
Want to see what else is on the menu of my Mother’s Day Luncheon? Let’s check it out!
Celebrating Mother’s Day this year will be festive and delightfully delicious when hosting a “French-Themed” lunch to honor the mothers in your life.
Doesn’t the Cold Asparagus Soup with Roasted Shrimp look wonderful as part of this fabulous ladies luncheon menu?
Here’s what is on the menu of my fabulously French Mother’s Day Luncheon:
But what about dessert? You can’t have a bunch of gals together without serving dessert, right?
Here’s the two desserts I chose to be the “sweet endings” to my fabulous Mother’s Day Luncheon. I’ll serve both with an assortment of teas to wind down what is sure to be a lovely afternoon.
The first is a light and moist Pink Grapefruit Chiffon Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Yes, I know it’s PINK!
I finished the cake off with some delightful sugar flowers and leaves I purchased on Amazon last year. They last forever if kept in a dry, dark and cool location.
It turned out so lovely with three luscious layers, just aching for some White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Depending on the size of cake pan you use, you’ll have 2 or 3 layers, so you will need 6 whole cups of frosting for this cake. (that’s exactly how much my recipe makes!)
Now, for the second Mother’s Day Luncheon dessert, I knew any gaggle of women would be looking around, waiting for the chocolate to appear! So as not to disappoint, I’ve also included a lovely Chocolate Grand Marnier Pots de Crème on the menu.
It’s densely chocolate, with a hint of citrus that gives it a new level of sophistication. In keeping with the party’s pink color-scheme, and the pink grapefruit cake, I garnished them with Candied Pink Grapefruit slices. They are amazingly addictive, so be careful to save enough for your presentation!
I finished the Chocolate Grand Marnier Pots de Crème with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and fresh mint. Don’t they look lovely? And they taste even better!
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPES:
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3. Place the stock into a large pot and bring to a low simmer. Add the asparagus tips to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Add the shaved asparagus and cook for 1 minute more. Carefully remove the tips and shaved asparagus from the pot with a spider or slotted spoon. Let them drain on a paper towel.
4. Gently straighten out all the shaved asparagus to their full lengths. Cool completely and then cover and chill in refrigerator until ready to plate the soup.
1. Place a large and deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add 2 tsp. oil and let heat up for 1 minute. Add leeks, celery and shallots and stir to
combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until vegetables are softened, but not browned, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Add wine and stir to combine. Continue to cook until most of the wine has been evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
3. Cut raw trimmed asparagus into pieces and add to the skillet.
4. Add the warm stock, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
5. Allow the mixture to cool completely before blending.
6. With a Vitamix-style or immersion blender, process until mixture is smooth and silky.
7. Stir in heavy cream and chill soup for at least 6 hours before serving.
1. Take asparagus, shrimp and soup out of refrigerator.
2. Stir chopped fresh chives into soup and adjust seasonings. Whisk soup for 1 minute, making sure it’s well combined and emulsified.
3. On a cutting board covered with plastic wrap, arrange the shaved asparagus strips into “nests”, about 2 inches in diameter.
4. Fill bowls ¾ of the way full, using a small metal spatula, lift a “nest” and gently
place in the center of each bowl of soup. Add two asparagus tips and one or two
roasted shrimp to each bowl.
5. Serve immediately.
Chill bowls in refrigerator before filling is serving the soup outdoors.