Recipe for creamy asparagus leek soup
If vichyssoise and steamed asparagus had a love child, it would look just like this creamy asparagus leek soup. It's not quite asparagus season here in Rhode Island, though everything is so early this year that I hope the farms will be harvesting in just a couple of weeks. Forgive me, but I couldn't wait, and once I made this soup, I couldn't wait to share it with you. The leeks add sweetness, and a few Yukon Gold potatoes add body, but nothing overshadows the fresh, grassy flavor of asparagus. Omit the cream if you feel you must, but I highly recommend it. Ted and I ate the leftovers cold, and now I can't decide whether I prefer it that way, or hot right from the pot.
Creamy asparagus leek soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 leeks, white parts only, trimmed, washed and chopped
12 medium spears of asparagus, trimmed and chopped
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
2 cups chicken stock or water
2 tsp fresh thyme or lemon thyme, or a mix
1/4 cup half-and-half (not fat-free)
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil and butter over low heat. Add the leeks, asparagus and potatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are translucent, 3-4 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock. Raise the heat to high, and bring to the boil. Immediately reduce heat to low, add the thyme, and cover the pot. Cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the pot from heat, and purée the soup with an immersion blender (or, let the soup cool slightly, and blend in batches in a stand blender or food processor). Return the soup to the stove top, and over low heat, whisk in the thyme and cream. Let the soup cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve hot, or cold (allow to cool, then chill the soup completely). Can be made 2 days in advance.