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Asparagus & Leek Soup – Recipe!

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The peak season of asparagus is February until June, with April usually being the best month for these plump stalks.  Asparagus are eaten in a variety of ways, mostly steamed or grilled, but they are delightful shaved raw in salads too.  Asparagus soup is very popular during this time of year, so I thought I would make an asparagus soup, but with my spin on it, which includes fresh leeks.  Leeks offer a naturally creamy texture that enhance the richness and overall flavor of the soup.

You can really score some remarkable pricing on asparagus while it’s in season, so now is the time to grab a few bundles and start cooking.  I like to serve this soup with crispy leeks, that are easily fried on the stovetop, for added crunch and a pretty presentation.  This soup is dairy free, but you could always add a dollop of sour cream for a nice tang, but I think it is pretty great without it.

Ingredients

2 large leeks, sliced in half and washed thoroughly

1 1/2 bundles asparagus, about 18 stalks

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 quart chicken broth

vegetable oil

(Serves 4-6)

To Prepare:

1. Wash the leeks thoroughly, they tend to be quite sandy.  Slice 1 1/2 leeks in half moon shape and the other 1/2 leek on the diagonal, set aside.  In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add 1 tablespoon oil and place over medium heat.  Add the half moon sliced leeks to the pot and saute for 4 minutes.

2.  Wash and slice the asparagus into thirds, removing the lower half inch from the bottom of each stalk. Add the asparagus to the pot and stir.  Then, add the garlic, dried thyme, salt and pepper and stir.  Pour in the chicken broth and turn the heat to low.  Place the lid on the pot and cook for 20 minutes or until the asparagus are fork tender.

3.  Ladle the soup into a blender and puree until smooth.  Be very careful with this hot soup, I always place a kitchen towel over the top of the lid, just in case the soup expands over the sides.

4.  In another pot, add 1/4 cup oil and place over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the sliced leeks and cook, until golden brown.  Drain the leeks on a plate lined with a paper towel.

5.  Pour the soup into bowls and top with the crispy leeks.  Enjoy!

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