21 April 2012

Cold Spring Night Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

I found this recipe in a magazine I only read for work, Town & Country - but after trying it for myself, I am definitely going to think again before raising an eyebrow at the source of a recipe. I've always had a soft spot of asparagus soup, ask any of my college friends. I was one of the only students at Knox College who ever made a b-line for the cream of asparagus soup in the Hard Knox Cafe. One friend upon seeing me eating a bowl of this soup described it as looking like "baby vomit", but to me, it was heaven in a bowl.

With asparagus season upon us, I'm looking for as many ways as possible to get this divine vegetable into my system - and my apologies to my roommates if my pee begins to smell like asparagus... sorry in advance! I just love asparagus. I like it roasted with lemon and parmesan, I love it in vegetable risotto, and yes, now I love it in this soup!

This recipe combines a lot of really yummy fresh flavors. The leak and garlic take a bath in butter, getting soft as they mingle. I used homemade chicken stock that not only tastes great, but is a gorgeous golden color. The asparagus was tiny and tender, and the final addition of dill and cilantro really lend themselves to the soup in a way that awakens your taste buds.

I'm not going to lie, I finished my first bowl before I could finish one article in Talk of the Town, it's just that good. I'd serve this up with some crusty bread and butter, a nice salad, or more asparagus.

Serves 4 to 6
30 minutes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, pale green and white parts only, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1 pound asparagus trimmed
6 sprigs fresh dill
12 sprigs cilantro
Sour cream for serving

  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan until the foam subsides. Cook the leek and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the leek is soft but not browned, about six minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  2. Cut the asparagus into two-inch pieces and add to the stock. Cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and dill. Transfer to a blender in batches and blend until smooth
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Recipe courtesy of Ian Knauer via Town & Country

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