6 cups water
1 pound asparagus (about 1 bunch), washed and trimmed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ stick unsalted butter
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
This recipe is by Sara DeMars Cerasoli, who wanted to create a recipe that represented her cooking style and pays homage to her alma mater, The French Culinary Institute.
In medium soup pot, bring the water and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to a boil. Once the water boils, add the garlic and the asparagus and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the asparagus from the water and place in a bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Do not discard asparagus cooking liquid.
In a small saucepan, melt butter. Blend in flour, continuing to stir and cook slowly until completely incorporated. While stirring, cook for another 2 minutes without browning the mixture. Turn off heat. This mixture is now called roux.
Bring asparagus cooking liquid back to a simmer and slowly whisk the roux into the cooking liquid. Both roux and cooking liquid must be hot. Whisk quickly until everything is incorporated and smooth. Once completely incorporated, continue whisking over medium heat for another 2 minutes. Turn off heat. This smooth, velvety liquid is now called velouté.
Remove velouté from stove and put into a blender along with the cooked asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Blend. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve.