Cream of Asparagus Soup

So here’s an action shot of cream of asparagus soup for you… ta dah!

Asparagus Soup

Ok, it’s subtle action, just my style. I was tickled by the visible steam rising from the bowl, even though it means my house is still really cold. (What in the world happened to spring this year? The weatherman keeps reminding us that two years ago we had sunshiney, 80-degree weather on Easter, and then informs us that this year it will be in the low 50’s and raining. Nice.)

The chilly spring weather, at any rate, makes this recipe perfect: nice and hot to warm me up, and full of tender spring asparagus. I based the recipe on one from Cooking Light, but I like my cream soups thick, so some adjustments were made in that direction; and I added leeks because I like them and had some on hand. I made roasted red-pepper and Parmesan biscuits for a fashionable color contrast: They were tasty and made just the right amount for one person and leftovers, but the pepper flavor was really subtle, so I would probably just do plain Parmesan biscuits next time.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

This soup came out just to my taste, with the perfect thickness and a velvety texture, a subtle asparagus flavor complimented by the aromatic thyme, not to mention that gorgeous green color. If you want to be fancy, reserve some of the cooked asparagus pieces (or even fish out just the tips!) for garnish and a more complex mouth-feel. I usually like chunks in my soup, but this was lovely as a smooth puree, in my humble opinion.

1 lb asparagus stalks, sliced into ½” pieces
1 C leeks, white and light green parts, sliced and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
4 T butter, divided
1¾ C chicken broth or stock
¼ tsp dried thyme (or ½ tsp fresh thyme)
1 bay leaf
2 T flour
1½ C 1% milk
Dash nutmeg
Lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

Melt 2 T butter in small soup pot and sauté leeks and garlic until softened. Add broth, asparagus, thyme and bay leaf, and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Ladle asparagus mixture into blender and puree until smooth. Melt remaining 2 T butter in pot and stir in flour; whisk in milk and nutmeg, and stir constantly until thickened. Stir in asparagus mixture and heat through; add lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with parmesan biscuits. Makes two generous servings or 3-4 as a first course.

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