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Chef’s Table

Warner's Taste Club - Asparagus velouté with crisp hen’s egg and pancetta recipe
Warner's Taste Club - Asparagus velouté with crisp hen’s egg and pancetta recipe

Asparagus velouté with crisp hen’s egg and pancetta

Try this summery soup using new season asparagus from head chef Steve Smith at The Broadway Hotel...

My mom grew green beans (any variety of French beans) every summer and I was made to pick them on a regular basis. Back then I hated it as I would have much rather been playing with my friends.

Now, I have my own allotment and always grow green beans. This recipe is a great way to use up the summer gluts and can be served as a side dish or as part of a mezze.

Ingredients (makes 4 portions)

  • 500g fresh asparagus, finely diced
  • 1x large white onion, finely diced
  • 2x sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2x cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 20g butter
  • 20g flour
  • 1 pint of vegetable stock
  • 4x eggs
  • handful of ice
  • 4x slices of pancetta
  • 200ml double cream
  • salt & pepper
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • handful of pea shoots – to garnish
  • Breading of eggs
  • 10g flour
  • 1x egg whisked
  • 200g breadcrumbs


  • Pre-heat the oven and if you have one, a deep-fat fryer, to 180 degrees. Place the sliced pancetta between two baking trays with parchment paper between tray and pancetta on the top and bottom. Bake in the oven until crisp, set aside till later.
  • For the crisp eggs (1 needed per bowl of velouté), half fill a small pan with hot water, 100ml vinegar and a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer, crack the eggs into the pan (top tip: stir the water and crack the egg into the middle of the vortex) and poach for 2 mins making sure the yolk is still runny. Use a large spoon to remove the eggs and place into a bowl with cold ice water and chill until cold.
  • Next, remove the cooked eggs from the water and prepare the breading section – put the flour into a bowl, crack one egg into a mixing bowl and whisk, place the breadcrumbs into a separate bowl. Dip the cooked egg into the flour, then whisked egg and then breadcrumbs, repeat again to ensure a well-coated egg, set aside.
  • For the velouté, place 20g butter, finely chopped asparagus, onion, celery and garlic into a medium pan and sweat until tender; add the flour and cook for 3 minutes. Gradually add the vegetable stock until you have soup consistency, add the double cream then remove the pan from heat. Blitz with the hand blender, pass through a sieve and season to taste.
  • Next, fry the eggs until golden and crisp in the deep fat-fryer (or use a deep frying pan).

To Serve

  • Pour the asparagus velouté into soup bowls and place a crispy egg in the middle. Break up the crisp pancetta and flake over the soup, finishing with a scattering of fresh pea shoots.

To drink

Warner's Taste Club - Asparagus velouté with crisp hen’s egg and pancetta recipe

A chilled white Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s famed Marlborough region is the perfect partner to match the strong flavours of this silky soup.