As the asparagus is not cooked for very long, each spear must be trimmed thoroughly of its woody end – there should be no trace of stringiness, and the total weight of the tender spears should not exceed 200 g.
200 g green asparagus spears, trimmed, best quality
400 ml cream
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh chervil, finely chopped, or fresh tarragon
4 eggs, lightly whisked
1 quantity beurre blanc (search for Butter in Basic info in the Cook’s Companion App)
Preheat oven to 160°C. Butter 6 x 100 ml soufflé dishes. Slice asparagus spears very thinly. Drop spears into lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain well.
Simmer cream with garlic until reduced to 300 ml. Purée asparagus, hot garlic cream and herbs in a food processor or an electric blender until smooth. Pour purée onto eggs and whisk lightly, then pass through a coarse strainer. Taste for seasoning. Pour mixture into prepared soufflé dishes, then stand them in a baking dish lined with a tea towel and pour in water to come two-thirds up their sides. Bake for 25–30 minutes until just set. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before unmoulding to serve. Coat with a thin, even layer of Beurre Blanc and garnish with extra asparagus tips, or scatter around herbs or tiny spring peas.