Cream of Asparagus Soup
Rinse the asparagus, remove the hard bottom ends and cut the rest of the asparagus into small pieces (setting aside 8 asparagus tips for the garnish). Cook the small pieces of asparagus in 600 ml (approximately 2 1/2 cups) of lightly salted water until soft (8-10 minutes). Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and puree. Pour the puree back into the cooking water and pour the whole soup through a sieve.
Melt the butter in a pan and fry the shallots until soft. Dust with flour and continue stirring until the butter has absorbed all of the flour. Add the soup and bring to a boil while stirring. Add the cream and let it boil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with pepper, parsley, nutmeg and saffron. Season carefully with salt.
Cut the white bread into cubes and fry in a pan with 1 tablespoon oil until golden brown. Pour the asparagus soup in bowls and serve garnished with the asparagus tips and the croutons.