In the Spring, and again in the Autumn, Danish children around the ages of 13 and 14 get confirmed in their believe in the church, confirming the vows their parents took for them when they were baptized as babies. Or so it has been for many years starting around 1750 by King Christian. Now it is an important function as a family party where a child is no longer a child, but an adult. Families and friends gather for the church service and later to eat a nice lunch or dinner at the child’s home and in many cases at a nice restaurant. Sometimes there are so many guests, the parents must rent a hall. The child is celebrated by family and friends and make speeches about what is in store for the future. It may, or may not be, the first time they drink wine and beer and the child decides the menu. Many times they want this soup, asparagus soup. It’s a good choice because asparagus is in season at this time in the Spring and most people love this soup. The young people not only get new clothes for the day, but clothes for something the Danes call blue Monday. Usually the confirmation takes place on a Sunday, so the young people get the day off from school on the following Monday.
Aspargus Soup serves 4
1½ liter/2½ pints water
Or unsalted chicken stock*
2 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 inch (2.5) pieces
1 oz. (30 grams) butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 egg yolks
salt and pepper
To make the soup, cook the asparagus in the water/chicken stock until they are tender 5-6 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon, Cream the softened butter and flour, whisk it into the soup and boil for 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl with a little of the warm soup. Then pour it into the rest of the soup, stirring constantly. The soup must not boil after the egg yolks are added or it will curdle. Add the asparagus pieces and heat them. Season with salt and pepper.
*Chicken Stock Making your own stock makes a real differnce in the flavor of your soups.
1 whole hen or chicken or the caress of a hen/chicken
1 onion, coarsly chopped
1 carrot coarsly chopped
1 tslk celery, coarsly chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. salt
To make the stock, wash the hen/chicken or caress of a chicken/hen in cold water, taking care to rinse out the cavity well, and put in a large stockpot. Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the chicken/hen or caress. Bring to a boil and skim off any form that develops. Add the remaining ingredients, bring back to a boil, then decrease the heat to a simmer Simmer for 3 to 4 hours, skimming as necessary at the beginning. The stock is ready when the bones are easy to break,this means all the essence of the chicken has come out into the water. Use the cooked chicken or hen for another purpose preferably in a dish with a dish with lots of flavors, since much of the chicken flavor will be cooked out.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a smaller pot and cook over medium heat until reduced to 2 quarts or 2 litres. Cover and refigerate overnight when cooled. Remove and decard the congealed layer of fat on top. Store in the refrigeratoe for up to three days or freeze for up to 1 month.