A perfect spring soup, this is wonderful served with a glass of dry white wine or even Champagne. You can make the soup a day ahead and reheat it gently while you fry the prosciutto and poach the eggs. Serve with toasted baguette slices.
Asparagus Soup with Poached Eggs & Crispy Prosciutto
2 oz. (60 g.) prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) dry white wine
3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml.) chicken broth
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm.) pieces
2 Tbs. heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. white vinegar
Lay the prosciutto slices in the bottom of a large, heavy pot. Cook over medium-high heat, turning with tongs, until the prosciutto is crispy, about 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. Let cool, then crumble.
Add the butter, onion and garlic to the same pot and saute until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a simmer, stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook, uncovered, until tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return to the pot, add the cream, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm over low heat.
In a frying pan, heat 1 inch (2.5 cm.) of water over medium heat. Add the vinegar and reduce the heat to keep the water at a gently simmer. Break an egg into a small bowl and, using a large spoon, place the egg gently in the water. Using a tablespoon, occasionally spoon the hot water over the top of the exposed egg. Cook until the egg is set but the yolk is still runny, about 5 minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Repeat to poach the remaining eggs.
Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the poached eggs and prosciutto, and serve. Serves 4.