COUNTRY:                           THE NETHERLANDS

DISH:                                     ASPARAGUS SOUP WITH HAM AND EGG MIMOSA

CONTRIBUTD BY:               Alessandra Camargos, Spouse to the Ambassador



300g (10oz) white asparagus

¼ litre (1 ½ pints vegetable stock, ready made

1 tsp sugar

30g (1oz) butter

30g (1oz) flour

100ml (3 ½ fl oz) cream

Seasonings: pinch grated mace, salt & freshly ground black pepper

200g (7oz) ham off the bone

3 eggs, hard-boiled

1 tbsp finely-chopped parsley



Peel the asparagus with a potato peeler (starting just under the tip), remove the tough ends, remove the tips and cook them in a little stock for 10 minutes until tender. Drain.

In a saucepan, bring the stock and sugar to the boil. Cut the remaining asparagus into 3cm (1inch) pieces, cook 15-20 minutes in the stock until tender.

Puree the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the flour. Cook gently for 2 minutes, gradually stir in the soup and crema. Bring slowly to the boil, simmer for 3 minutes.

Season to taste.

Cut the ham into strips. Peel the eggs, press through a sieve.

Divide the ham and asparagus tips among 4 bowls.

Ladle the soup into the bowls, garnish with egg mimosa and parsley. Serve immediately.