this. soup. i've been dreaming about asparagus soup since easter sunday when the one from st. cecilia here in atlanta literally made me swoon. so i set out on a mission to make my own. never before has a recipe i've worked on so perfectly blended together (the first time) to create heaven like this one. it's simply souptastic. it's fresh, healthy and will literally take you 40 min total to make. plus you can eat it for days... after all, second and third day soup is better than first day, no?
here's what you need
3-4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 1/2 bunches asparagus, woody stems snapped off and spears cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium leeks, white and green parts only
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup plain, non-fat greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Shaved asparagus spears or tops
1 tbps. Additional greek yogurt
Lemon truffle oil (if you have it, do. it.)
here's how to do it
In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the leeks and shallots for about 5-7 minutes until tender, add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes (until the amazing aroma starts making your neighbors jealous).
While allllll that is happening, cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces. be sure to reserve some tops if you wish to use as a garnish later.
Add the sherry and allow to sauté an additional 2-3 minutes so the flavors all meld together and the alcohol cooks out (sad, i know). Add the asparagus, chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring everything to a boil. stir, Cover, turn the heat down to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
**very important to use either a combo of low-sodium chicken broth and regular, or just low-sodium. that way, you can add salt to your taste preference at the end and will prevent the soup from being too salty. (learned that one the hard way...sigh).
after 30 minutes, using an immersion blender, blend the soup until nice and creamy. no immersion blender? no prob. just work in batches and use a regular blender and then transfer soup back to pot. add the 1/2 cup of greek yogurt (see? no heavy cream needed! hoorah!). stir to incorporate (you can also add this before you blend to make sure it's smooth).
at this time, most recipes will tell you to strain the blended soup through a wire mesh strainer. for this one, it's your call. if it's blended enough to your liking, then you're done. if not, strain through to make sure no big chunks remain. now to the best part: taste it. add a little more salt or greek yogurt to your taste preference and then you're ready to serve and garnish.
top with some shaved asparagus spears, tops or sprouts, mix some greek yogurt with a little milk to thin it out, swirl on soup and if you have it, a few drizzles of lemon or white truffle oil will make this literally melt into your brain it's so good... a grilled cheese on the side never hurt anybody either. just sayin'. enjoy!
pairs well with
a silky and smooth white wine, like this russian river valley chardonnay from gary farrell vineyards