White Asparagus Gazpacho

1 Pound White Asparagus, Ends Trimmed

1/2 Cup Sliced or Slivered Almonds

1 Small Shallot, Diced

2 Cloves Roasted Garlic

1 Medium Cucumber, Peeled and Chopped (Seeded if Necessary), Divided (Reserve 1/4 Cup for Garnish)

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/2 - 3/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper

1/4 Cup Avocado Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 - 1 ½ Cups Vegetable Stock

Truffle Oil, to Garnish (Optional)

Additional Slivered Almonds, to Garnish

Bring a large stockpot full of water to a boil. Dunk in the prepared asparagus very briefly, for about 1 - 2 minutes, in order to blanch. Drain and immediately immerse the stalks in an ice-water bath to cool them down as quickly as possible and arrest the cooking process. Drain once more and roughly chop before tossing the pieces into your blender. Puree the asparagus along with all of the other ingredients, except for the oil, water, and garnishes. Once smooth, slowly drizzle in the oil while the machine continues to run, to emulsify the mixture. Repeat this process with stock, adding enough until it reaches your desired viscosity. Note that if you make this soup in advance and store it in the fridge, you will likely need to thin it out further after it sits. Serve immediately or chill for a more refreshing, ice-cold soup, and top portions with the reserved chopped cucumber, additional almonds, and truffle oil, if desired.

Serves 4 - 6

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com