Asparagus Soup

This is an eighteenth century recipe from a manuscript in the Macadam collection, Edinburgh. The peas or spinach help to give it a clear green colour.
Serves: 4

20 Asparagus spears
900 ml Chicken stock, or vegetable stock (1 1/2 pints)
225 Gram Green peas , or chopped spinach (8 oz)
1 Teaspoon Sugar
Salt and pepper
25 Gram Butter (1 oz)
25 Gram Plain Flour (1 oz)
150 ml Milk (1/4 pint)
6 Tablespoon Double cream
Discard all but the top 6-8 cm (2 1/2 - 3 1/2 inches) of the asparagus spears as the lower part may make the soup bitter.

Cut the remainder into 2.5 cm (1 inch) lengths. Reserve a few 1 cm ( 1/2 inch) tips for garnishing and cook these separately for 10 minutes in a little boiling water.

Bring the stock to the boil, put in the asparagus, the peas or chopped spinach, the sugar and seasoning and boil until the vegetables are tender. Purée the vegetables and stock in a food processor or blender or push through a sieve.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and add the asparagus purée. Bring to the boil, stirring in the milk.

To serve, stir in the cream and add a few asparagus tips to each bowl.

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