Put two ounces of butter in a stewpan with the light part of two leeks finely sliced—keep the rest for the stockpot—add two strips of celery, one large onion sliced, and a bunch of herbs, thyme, parsley, bayleaf; cut off the tops of one and a half pounds of asparagus, and cook them as below and keep for garnishing the soup; cut up the other part of the asparagus and put with the other vegetables to fry for about fifteen minutes in a covered pan, then mix in two and a half tablespoonfuls of rice cream (crème de riz), or barley cream (crème d’orge), and three pints of good white stock, and cook steadily for three quarters of an hour, keeping occasionally skimmed. If you have any white forcemeat or good Veloute sauce it could be used instead of the rice or barley cream. When the vegetables are cooked, strain them from the liquor and pound all together till smooth, then add to the stock and pass through the tammy, then put it in the bain marie to get hot. For each quart take half a pint of warm cream, three raw yolks of eggs, a pinch of sugar, and three or four drops of lemon juice. Mix all together in a basin and stir it into the soup till it thickens, but do not let the soup re-boil. Strain the soup through a strainer into the tureen and garnish with the points of asparagus and the little red and white quenelles.
Asparagus Heads for Soup
Put the points of asparagus into boiling water with a little salt and a tiny bit of soda, and boil gently for fifteen minutes.
Quenelles for Purée of Asparagus
Take about a quarter of a pound of any white farce and divide it into two parts; colour one red with a little carmine, and whiten the other with a little cream; then by means of forcing bag and pipe make little bunches like half a dozen peas put together, alternating the colours, on the bottom of a buttered sauté pan; cover the quenelles with boiling water, bring to the boil, and let it stand on the side of the stove for two or three minutes, then use.