Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cream of Asparagus soup with leeks and peas

This picture didn't have the best light - hence the soup looks a strange shade of green, but once you get past that, it is delicious. No cream or any other dairy, but perfectly creamy. Asparagus is the star of this soup with the leeks providing the backdrop and the peas feature at the end for a textural contrast and a sweet pop. The asparagus tips are added at the end for visual appeal and texture as well.

Cream of Asparagus Soup with Leeks and Peas
1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup minced leeks, white and light green parts only
1 large clove minced garlic
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
½ cup petite frozen peas (defrosted)

1. Trim about 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the tops of the asparagus and save the tips for garnish. Break off the woody stems and cut the remaining stalks into 1 inch pieces. In a 3 quart pot, melt the butter over medium high heat and add the minced leeks. Cook for about 3 minutes till the leeks are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the chopped asparagus, salt and pepper and stir for a couple of minutes. Add vegetable stock or water and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes till the asparagus is very tender.

2. In the meantime, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil to blanch the asparagus tips. Add the saved asparagus tips, and let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes. They should be crisp tender. Keep a bowl of ice water handy to place the tips once they are blanched. Once the tips are ready, place them in ice water to stop the cooking for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the ice water and keep it ready for garnish.

3. Once the asparagus is tender, puree the mixture in batches using a food processor or blender. If you have an immersion blender, the soup can be blended in the pot itself. Return the pureed soup to medium heat. Add the defrosted peas and cook stirring till the soup is warmed through and the peas are not too crunchy.
4.     Now transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the blanched asparagus tips. If desired parmesan cheese can be grated on top.

Serves 4 to 6

No comments:

Post a Comment