This potage calls for a home-made stock, so save those vegetable trimmings!
For the soup:
2 bunches asparagus
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 ribs celery, diced, trimmings saved for stock
1/2 lb. spring onion bulbs (about 8), coarsely chopped, trimmings saved for stock
1 leek, coarsely chopped, trimmings saved for stock
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 lbs. new white potatoes, quartered
2 qts. asparagus-vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
Remove top 1 inch of asparagus tips and set aside.
Take the next 3 inches of asparagus and chop coarsely. Save trimmings for stock.
in a 6-quart pot, melt butter with 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.
Add celery, onion and leeks and sauté 8-10 minutes.
Add nutmeg, cayenne, salt, black pepper and sherry vinegar and toss.
Add potatoes and stock and bring to a boil.
Add chopped asparagus and simmer until potatoes are soft.
Blend in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.
Stir in tarragon and lemon zest.
While the soup is cooking, toss the asparagus tips with 1 tsp. olive oil.
Lightly toast or sauté and set aside for garnish.
For the stock:
2 qts. cold water
Trimmings from soup preparation
Preheat oven to 300°.
Place the asparagus ends and the trimmings from the celery, onions and leeks in a roasting pan.
Roast 12-15 minutes, or until just beginning to brown.
In a sauce pot, add water and roasted trimmings and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 30-35 minutes.
Strain and serve or use hot.