Spargelsuppe (Asparagus Soup)
Source: German Embassy, Washington, DC
In Germany, the arrival of Spargel, or asparagus, in the open-air markets is a much-looked for sign of spring. Germans are fussy about the quality of their asparagus, knowing and preferring specific regions and even growers. Asparagus is almost always of the white variety, and nice plump stalks are the most prized. Because asparagus preparation involves peeling away the tough outside of a stalk's lower half, a time-consuming chore that requires some skill, guests are often invited to peeling parties where everyone helps out.
1 lb. asparagus
3-1/4 cups salted water
pinch of sugar
1/2 cup cream
3 egg yolks
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. white wine
2 tbsp. ham, diced
1 tbsp. butter
Scrape asparagus stalks to remove tough portion and slice into generous bite-size pieces. Place in boiling salted water with a pinch of sugar. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cream. Blend in lightly beaten egg yolks. Season with pepper, add lemon juice and white wine.
Fry diced ham in butter till crisp. Sprinkle on top. Serve at once.
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