What to do when you find beautiful, green asparagus at the food market on a dreary and rainy day in spring? Make Cream of Asparagus Soup! I searched online for recipes and found one that received lots of wonderful reviews.
Would you like your asparagus tips left whole......or chopped with a sprinkle of freshly ground nutmeg over the top?
I tried it both ways and preferred the latter. Either way it was a delicious recipe and one that I will certainly make again!
Cream of Asparagus Soup
Adapted from Gourmet, March 2001 and found at Epicurious
Yield: Makes 4 servings
~I halved this recipe and it made enough for 4 bowls of soup
2 pounds green asparagus
1 large leek, white portion only, chopped
2 Thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
1/2 heavy cream (I subbed Fat Free Half & Half)
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Cut tips from 12 asparagus 1 1/2 inches from top and halve tips lengthwise if thick. Reserve for garnish. Peel woody ends and cut stalks and all remaining asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces.
Cook leek in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add asparagus pieces, thyme sprigs and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
When the soup is almost done simmering, place reserved asparagus tips in an Asian strainer, if available, and lower into simmering soup until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain. Chop asparagus tips or leave whole, as desired.
Remove thyme sprigs and purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth, transferring to a bowl (use caution when blending hot liquids), and return to pan. I used a stick blender and then strained the soup to remove any possible stringy bits. Stir in cream, then add more stock to thin soup, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
Add lemon juice and garnish with asparagus tips and a little freshly ground nutmeg.