Creamy Asparagus Soup With Tenderloin Tips
by Benjamin Maides, Chef, Au Courant Regional Kitchen, Omaha, Nebraska
- 1 pound Certified Piedmontese beef tenderloin tips
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 pounds asparagus, thinly sliced with woody ends removed and tops reserved
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (optional)
- Fresh chives, chopped for serving (optional)
Add water to a large stockpot, salt generously (about ¼ cup salt for 4 quarts water), and bring to a boil. Arrange a large bowl of ice-water and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pot, sweat the onion, garlic, thyme leaves, and bay leaves, in butter over low heat until translucent and soft. Add the chicken stock and cream and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Let simmer over low to medium heat.
Drop the sliced asparagus into the boiling salted water and blanch for 3 minutes. Add in the tops and blanch everything for 1 more minute. Transfer the asparagus into the ice bath. Set aside some blanched asparagus tops for serving.
Heat a sauté pan to high heat and season the tenderloin tips with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add canola oil and sauté over high heat until medium-rare. Set aside.
In a blender, combine the soup base with the remaining asparagus and blend on high until very smooth. Divide the soup among four bowls, top with tenderloin tips and remaining blanched asparagus tops, drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle a dash of chopped chives (both optional).