What is so great about Asparagus veloutes (soup) in the spring and summer you can eat it cold and in the fall and winter you can eat it warm and hot. My mom has made Asparagus soup since I was little and so have I, so when I bought my Gordon Ramsay cookbook, Cooking fo Friends I happended to notice a recipe for Asparagus veloute so of course I had to try it too...yes I made a change of two, added my signature to it....
Sort out 12 most attractive spears, cut off the tips to use for garnish. Roughly chop the rest and set aside.
Heat olive oil and 1/2 the butter in a large pot and add the chopped onion, chopped celery, and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently with wooden spoon, till vegetables begin to soften, 4-6 min. Add the chopped asparagus and the thyme, and nutmeg, and stir over high heat until asparagus is tender but stillvibrant green, 3-4 min. Pour in just enough stock (chicken or vegetable) to cover and simmer for 2 min. Remove from heat.
Blend soup while it is still hot. Place 1/2 the vegetables in a food processor or blender using a slotted spoon, add 1 or 2 ladles of hot stock, and puree well, pour through a strainer or seive and repeat till all is complete. Discard pulp....Stir in remaining stock stirring in till well blended you will have a creamy consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, add a little lemon juice if you like, do not over season, especially if you are serving cold...
When ready to serve add the cream, as not to scortch, just to a simmer. Meanwhile, saute the asparagus tips in the remaining butter with someseasoning in a hot frying pan or saute pan. Add a splash of water, cover the pan, and let the asparagus steam until just tender, 2-3 min.
Pour soup into warm bowls garnish with asparagus tips. Drizzle with a little olive oil over the top and serve immediately.