Asparagus Soup

- 1 bunch of asparagus (about 8-10 stalks) - knob of butter - freshly ground salt and pepper - flaked almonds - parma ham - olive oil, to drizzle
This is another criminally simple recipe. I can't take all the credit though - it was inspired by Gordon Ramsay's Broccoli Soup, which is prepared in a similar way. However I thought that since asparagus is in season right now and it' broccoli...that it would make a good substitute. And it was! I polished off an entire baguette eating this delicious soup. Makes one serving. 1. Heat a heavy, dry frying pan and toss the almonds around until fragrant. Keep an eye on them as they will burn easily. When browned nicely, set aside in a container. 2. Grill the parma ham until browned. Set aside on kitchen paper to drain the excess oil. Slice into thin strips. 3. Place your asparagus in boiling, lightly salted water for about 4 minutes. 4. Remove the asparagus but keep the water bubbling. Put the asparagus in a blender with a knob of butter. Blend until smooth. When smooth, turn off the heat on the water and add a little. Blend. Keep doing so until you reach your preferred consistency for soup. Taste the soup - it may need a little seasoning - don't go crazy though as the grilled parma ham will add a salty element to the dish when you plate it. 5. Pour the lovely, green liquid into a bowl. Garnish with your parma ham and almonds. Drizzle with a little olive oil and give it a grind of pepper. Serve with a crusty baguette.