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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

Cream of Asparagus Soup can be served hot or cold, garnished, or not. It is always a wonderful treat in the early Spring when the young asparagus grace the Farmers Market! This recipe reserves the tips, and the soup is thick enough to let them float on the surface.

Cream of Asparagus Soup with Purple Asparagus!

When available, I make Cream of Asparagus Soup with purple asparagus. The purple will mostly disappear when the asparagus simmer; I barely blanch the purple tips to keep their color. The beautiful tips add freshness, color, and a bit of crunch to the soup. I always serve some on the side; people love to add more in – almost like adding crackers.

I love a recipe that uses an entire vegetable. The woody ends that ordinarily would find their way into the garbage flavor the stock making the base intense. Plus, when I do put the stems in the trash, I know I’ve gotten everything out of them I could.

About the Recipe

 

To me, leeks are a combination of onion and garlic. Their unique flavor is a must in this soup. I use the white and light green parts. Make sure you split the leek in half length-wise and rinse out the dirt if there is any. The soil grows into the layers of the vegetables, so this is important. This is not just for the leeks you buy from the farmers market. Rinse all leeks in this way before preparing. 

The leeks and garlic are sautéd in butter, and white wine is added and cooked off to add depth to the flavor.
The middle stalks are cut into small pieces and simmered with the leeks and garlic. This picture is at the beginning of the process, shortly the asparagus will be uniformly green with just a hint of purple.

 

 

The final step is to pureé the soup before adding cream. An immersion blender is perfect for this. If you don’t have one, a blender works well. Just be careful, the soup is hot! As I said, this soup is delightful hot, or cold, and I love serving it alongside my Spring Pea Ricotta Salad.

 

I hope you love my Cream of Asparagus Soup! Buon Appetito!

 

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Buon Appetito!
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Step by Step Instructions

Asparagus Soup

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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • immersion blender

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pounds asparagus
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced leeks -- white part only
  • 2 cloves garlic -- minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Finishing

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Garnish

  • 1/2 cup creme Fraiche, or sour cream and asparagus spears for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Cut the tips (1 1/2 to 2 inches in length) off of the asparagus spears. Cut the woody stem ends (bottom 1/3 of the remaining stalk) from each spear and set aside. Slice the remaining center stalks into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside. In a medium-sized pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the woody stem ends, lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. This will flavor the stock. Remove stems with a slotted spoon or skimmer and discard.
  • Add the tips to the stock and simmer until just bright green, not more than 1 minute. Do not overcook. Remove with a slotted spoon or skimmer to an ice bath. Remove stems from bath to drain on paper towels. Remove the stock from the pot and reserve.
  • Return pot to stove and melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Increase heat and add wine. Cook the wine off completely. Add the sliced asparagus center stalks, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the reserved broth and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to simmer until the asparagus pieces are very tender, about an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  • Puree the soup, in the pot, using an immersion blender until smooth (some chunks may remain). Add cream and adjust salt and pepper. Return to heat for 2 to 3 minutes to heat through.
  • Serve garnished with blanched asparagus spears and a dollop of crËme Fraiche.

Notes

copyright: Chef Laura Bonicelli
Keyword soup
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