Asparagus Soup with Bear’s Garlic Ravioli

If all had gone perfectly instead of just well, this would have been cream of asparagus soup. However, the ravioli made up for that, but let’s start at the beginning.

Every other month I go to a steakhouse with friends. I just love a good 180g  piece of Lady’s Cut and don’t even really need anything to go with it. Yet, every time I either fall for a seasonal starter or dessert (or – worst case scenario – both). The last time I went,  I found the cream of asparagus soup with bear’s garlic ravioli intriguing. It was fantastic, very creamy, and the ravioli to go with it was a great idea. However, there was only one piece of ravioli in the soup, so I knew I had to try to recreate this at home.

I – the queen of kitchen laziness – even went as far as to make the ravioli dough myself, using Jamie Oliver’s recipe. I’ve had my grandmother’s pasta machine sitting in my kitchen for 16 years and hadn’t used it once. I know! Unbelievable and absolutely shameful! But let me tell you that making these ravioli myself has got me hooked, and this machine will be in use often from now on.

The soup is very improvised because I concentrated on getting the ravioli right. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any asparagus pieces left after blending it, but it didn’t do any harm. It could also have been a lot creamier, but I’m trying to cut down on the unhealthy stuff…

Asparagus Soup with Bear’s Garlic Ravioli

Ravioli
600 g flour*
6 large eggs
125 g ricotta cheese
½ bunch bear’s garlic (approx. 50 g), finely chopped
freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground salt
freshly ground white pepper

*I couldn’t get the type “00″ flour, so I used something called Dunstmehl, which is an extremely finely ground kind of flour.

Asparagus Soup
12 asparagus spears, peeled and cut into pieces
1 tsp salt
1 pinch sugar
1.5 vegetable stock cubes
150 ml cream

Start by preparing the ravioli dough according to Jamie Oliver’s recipe. Once your dough is mixed, knead it into a ball and set it aside.

Proceed to make the soup. Cook asparagus pieces in 1.5 l vegetable stock and season with salt and sugar. When it’s done, use a straining ladle to fish out the asparagus pieces, put them into a blender with a little of the stock (keep the rest for later!), and blend. Add the cream and blend again until it reaches a consistency of your liking. Put aside.

For the ravioli filling, mix the ricotta cheese with the bear’s garlic, and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Go on preparing the pasta as per recipe. To fill the ravioli, take a strip of pasta and place teaspoonfuls of  the ricotta mix in equal distances along the upper half. [I lightly folded my dough in the middle to see how much space I needed, then used my cookie cutter to do the following: put it on the dough, press very lightly so it makes a mark but doesn’t cut through, plop in some ricotta, then move your cutter along the dough and proceed in the same way.] Fold the lower half of your dough over the half with the ricotta and make sure the edges meet. Use your cookie cutter to cut out the ravioli, and press the edges of each piece together cautiously. [I only made about 20 pieces of ravioli. The rest of the dough I cut into 4 pieces, sealed each piece in a freezer bag and froze them.]

Reheat the remaining stock from cooking the asparagus. Once it boils, cook the ravioli in batches for approx. 5 minutes. Take them out and put aside.

Pour the cream-blended asparagus into the stock you just boiled the ravioli in, heat but don’t let boil. Distribute into individual bowls and place a few ravioli on top.

Was it worth it?  Yes, definitely!  I loved these ravioli, the bear’s garlic was quite dominant (which is good…), and with the subtle seasoning I would deem these perfect. I had some left over, and if you like, you can see here what I made from them.

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