I have a fresh, verdant, oh-so-springy soup to share today.
As I mentioned, I am bursting with excitement over spring produce, so I was happy to put some spring favorites, asparagus and leeks, into a light, lemony soup. You can add richness by adding a bit of heavy cream at the end, but people, bathing suit season approaches (gasp) so up to you….although I’m thinking about rocking a swim(maxi)dress. Thoughts?
Asparagus & Leek Soup (V, VE)
Makes 8 cups ~ Time: 1 hour
2 bunches of Asparagus
2 extra-large leeks (or 4 medium)
2 tbs butter (or olive oil to keep the recipe vegan)
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 tbs fresh dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1 lemon, zested and halved
Sea Salt, Cracker Pepper
1/4 c. heavy cream (optional)
Fill a large bowl with cold, clean water. Add 1/2 lemon. Fill a small bowl with cold, clean water. Trim the asparagus by snapping off the woody ends off where the stem wants to break naturally. Dice 3/4 of the two bunches, adding to the large bowl of water. Place the remaining spears in the small bowl of cold water (for use in presentation).
Chop the dark green leaves off the leeks, reserving the white stem and pale green leaves. Slice into rounds and add to the large bowl of water.
Soak/swish the vegetables in the water for a few minutes. Leeks are QUITE gritty, so be sure to clean thoroughly. Drain vegetables through a colander and give another final rinse with cold water.
In a large deep soup pot, heat butter (or oil) over medium heat. Add asparagus, leeks, a pinch of salt/pepper and sauté lightly. Reduce heat and cover, allowing vegetables to cook down (about 10-15 minutes).
Add 2 cups of broth and bring soup up to a simmer. Using a hand blender, puree the soup in the pot. If using a regular blender, allow the soup to cool slightly before blending in batches and returning to the pot. Depending on how thick you want the soup, add remaining cup of broth. Stir in dill, garlic and lemon zest (and juice from remaining half lemon). Add sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Stir in heavy cream if using. Serves 4 (2-cup servings).
Presentation: Lightly steam the reserved asparagus spears. Blanch in cold water to preserve color. Plate two asparagus spears over soup, and sprinkle with black pepper.
ASPARAGUS REMIX! (what?)
After two servings of soup, I was ready to change-up the leftovers.
I made this soup into Creamy Asparagus & Leek Rice and it was awesome. Tons of asparagus and leek flavor, but creamy and rich with Parmesan cheese. Swoon. A perfect side dish to your Easter leftovers…
Creamy Asparagus & Leek Rice
Serves 4 ~ Time: 1 hr 15 min
4 c. Asparagus & Leek Soup
4 c. vegetable broth
1 c. long grain brown rice
2 tbs heavy cream (don’t skip it)
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded
Bring soup and broth up to a low boil. Add rice. Cover and simmer until almost all the liquid is absorbed (about 55 minutes). Vigorously stir rice to release the starch. Stir in the heavy cream and cheese, stir until the rice has a creamy consistency. Serve with black pepper and additional Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 as a side dish.
So about that swim-maxi dress…..