In the first of our Eat The Season series, food writer and food stylist Genevieve Taylor talks us through how she’ll be using the abundance of asparagus available at this time of year – to make an ideal starter or light main for spring days.
Greek lemon, egg & asparagus soup
The asparagus season is now in full flow and I am anxious to make the most of it. Today I added some chopped stems to a traditional Greek egg and lemon soup, called avgolemono, and they provided a very welcome vegetable crunch to what is quite a rich soup. The egg is added at the end of cooking to thicken and enrich the chicken stock. Use vegetable stock if you prefer it to chicken, but either way home-made is best for flavour.
Serves 4 | Ingredients
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, ideally home-made
- 125g orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
- Juice and finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 2 eggs
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch of asparagus, about 250g, woody ends trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces
- A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
1. Bring the stock up to the boil in a large saucepan, and add the pasta, stirring well to ensure the grains separate. Simmer steadily until the pasta is almost done, about 5–6 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put the lemon juice and zest in a small bowl and sprinkle over the cornflour. Whisk together until well combined, then break in the eggs and season with a little salt and black pepper. Whisk until the eggs are frothy. Set aside.
3. When the pasta is almost cooked, add the asparagus and simmer for a couple more minutes until just tender.
4. Turn off the heat and stir through the egg and lemon mixture and the parsley. Taste to check the seasoning,
and serve immediately.