Makes 1 qt of soup-enough for 4 people to have a small, 4 oz bowl
1/2cupyellow sweet onion chopped
6tbspcooked white rice
2cupswoody asparagus endschopped
1/4cupflavorless oillike grapeseed
1recipe ramp leaf oilfollows
Small leaves of fresh herbs like wild mintchives, and chive blossoms
Kosher salt, to taste
Shred the sliced asparagus ends in the food processor until they are broken up and no large pieces remain. Sweat the onion and the fennel in a bit of oil, a pinch of salt and a tablepoon of water. When the fennel and onion are cooked through and soft, add the asparagus and rice, then cook for a minute until the asparagus is a wilted. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes on low-medium.
Working in two or three small batches, blend the soup, adding the flavorless oil to the blender as the mixture is pureed. (The oil "fluffs" the soup, allowing it to absorb more air and be extra creamy and light, it also helps the soup to puree finely.) Pass the soup through a fine strainer, you can press with a spoon to help the liquid pass through.
Season the soup with salt to taste, then put in a container and chill in an ice bath.
Heat the soup, whisking occasionally. Check the seasoning for salt and correct to your taste one last time if needed. Pour 1 cup into each of four heated soup bowls. Garnish with the ramp leaf oil and herbs, then serve immediately.