Chicken, Asparagus, and Lemon Soup

Soups made just from chicken can be a little bland, but combine the meat with fresh asparagus and lemon juice and you have a perfect summer soup.

Serves: 6


2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 chicken breast halves, trimmed of fat
and sinew and cut into pieces
1 3/4 quarts chicken stock
2 thinly pared strips of lemon rind
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1-1/3 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
juice of 3 lemons
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 egg yolk
1-1/4 cups light cream

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and fry very gently until transparent. Add the chicken to the pan and cook over a fairly high heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time.

Add the chicken stock, lemon rind, and thyme to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon rind.

Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus tips in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water, and drain again. Reserve a few of the smallest tips for garnish.

Add asparagus tips and the abasil leaves to the pan, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the asparagus is well cooked.
Allow the mixture to cool, then process it in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Pour back into the pan.

Beat the egg yolk with a little of the cream, strain into a small bowl, add a little of the woup and mix thoroughly. Add to the soup with the lemon juice and the rest of the cream and allow to warm through gently, being careful not to let it boil.

Serve the soup garnished with a few of the reserved asparagus tips and sprig of fresh basil.

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