Asparagus Soup With Goat Cheese Dumplings Recipe

Asparagus pairs perfectly with goat cheese in this spring starter.


For The Soup:
2 bunches asparagus (about 2 lb)
Extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup sliced shallots
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Kosher salt
5 cup chicken stock or vegetable broth
1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

Goat Cheese Dumplings:
8 oz fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
1 large egg yolk
Pinch of kosher salt

For Serving:
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 white asparagus spears, cut on the bias 1/4″ thick
3 green asparagus spears, cut on the bias 1/4″ thick
2 tbsp diced 1/4″ carrot, boiled until just tender
2 tbsp diced 1/4″ blue potato, boiled until just tender
1/2 cup thawed frozen petite peas
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon


For the soup:
Step 1: Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Trim away just the very tough bottoms of the asparagus, then cut the spears into 1/4″ pieces.

Step 2: Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and crushed red pepper, and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is tender but not coloured, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, increase the heat to medium-high, cover, and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes.

Step 3: Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Step 4: Take the pan off the heat and stir in the spinach and tarragon. Immediately transfer to a blender and purée.

Step 5: With the machine running, slowly add 1/4 cup olive oil and blend until well emulsified. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a container set in the ice water. (The soup can be made 2 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated.)

Goat Cheese Dumplings:
Step 1: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all of the ingredients on low speed. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to make shaping the dumplings easier.

Step 2: Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil and have ready a bowl of ice water. Form the cheese mixture into small (about 1/2″) quenelles using demitasse spoons. Makes 35 – 40 dumplings.

Step 3: Boil for 1 minute, then transfer to the ice water to cool quickly. Drain and use as directed. (You can make the dumplings 1 day ahead; toss with a little olive oil and refrigerate on a small rimmed baking sheet.)

To Serve:
Step 1: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the white and green asparagus, carrot, potato, peas and the Goat Cheese Dumplings and cook, stirring gently and occasionally, until warm. Add the tarragon and toss gently.

Step 2: Carefully divide the dumplings and vegetables among wide soup bowls. Garnish with microgreens. Pour the cold soup over and around the ingredients in the bowl. Serve immediately.

See more recipes from The Scarpetta Cookbook.

Reprinted with permission from The Scarpetta Cookbook (2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).