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April 18, 2012

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

Serves 4.


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.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Kalyn | April 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Oh yes. No question this would taste amazing.

Posted by: Shirley @ gfe | April 18, 2012 at 01:25 PM

Oh my goodness, Lydia, I LOVE the opening line of this post!! Hehe! And this soup looks amazing. Perfect for our rainy cool day today, too. Plus, I just made some turkey stock after thawing out a leftover turkey carcass yesterday. :-) This one will be easy to make dairy free, too, by using almond milk or coconut milk. ;-)

Thanks, dear!

Posted by: Lydia | April 19, 2012 at 07:04 AM

Kalyn, even without the cream, this is an amazing soup. And when the season's fresh asparagus are in, it will be just that much better!

Shirley, our weather is still on the cusp; the days are warm, and the evenings are cool enough that soups and stews are still what we like to eat. Your homemade stock will be perfect here, and you can substitute for the cream or omit it altogether.

Posted by: Carla at The Soupstache | April 20, 2012 at 03:24 PM

I love asparagus, and quite frankly, never thought about putting it in a soup. Looks delicious! I will try this next time I get my hands on some more veggies. :}

Posted by: susan g | April 20, 2012 at 08:46 PM

I love it when the orphans in my fridge find the perfect home. A handful of asparagus, two lonely leeks -- they were so happy, and so were we. Hot or cold, it was just right.
I use something called MimicCreme, made from nuts, but I don't think you'd miss it without.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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