Cream of Asparagus & Leek Soup

Spring has finally arrived & it is time to take advantage of the fresh produce that is readily available.  Asparagus is in season and is in bountiful supply!  This elegant & creamy soup is perfect as is but if you are watching calories (swimsuit season is approaching after all), you certainly could substitute half & half or milk rather than cream. 

 

1 Tbsp. Olive oil 

1 lb. Asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1 inch pieces, keeping tips separated for final soup 

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

1 ½ Leeks, white & light green parts only, medium chop 

1 Vidalia onion, medium chop 

4 Tbsp. butter, unsalted 

4 Tbsp. flour 

2 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste 

1 Tbsp. course black pepper, or to taste 

1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional) 

8 cups chicken or vegetable stock, no salt or low sodium 

1 cup heavy cream 

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated plus more for garnish 

Heat olive oil in a stockpot on medium, add the asparagus tips and cook until tender about 8 minutes. Add in garlic, cook 2 minutes. Place in bowl, set aside.  In the same pot on high heat bring 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil.  Reduce heat slightly, add the remaining asparagus, all of the onion & leek, cover & cook until tender, about 12 – 15 minutes.  In a food processor puree asparagus leek mixture until smooth. 

In the same stockpot, create a roux by melting the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour, salt, black & cayenne pepper. Whisk constantly for 2 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium. Slowly whisk in remaining chicken broth, 1 cup at a time.  Cook, continually stirring until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir in the asparagus/leek puree.  In a small bowl, add the hot liquid a little at a time to the cream and stir it constantly to avoid curdling.  Add cream/liquid mixture slowly to the stockpot.  Stir in Parmesan cheese, asparagus tips & garlic to final soup.  

Ladle the hot soup into a bowl, garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.  Serve with a rustic, crusty bread. 

Enjoy! 

The Wine

This soup can handle a full bodied, rich, creamy Chardonnay.  To really experience full enjoyment of the aromatics and flavors on the palate, I recommend taking it out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before serving. 

2015 Meomi Chardonnay – Sonoma 44%  |  Monterey 29%  |  Santa Barbara 27%

Smooth, opulent layers of lemon peel and stone fruit are heightened by sweet smells of crème brûlée, butterscotch, baked apple, shortbread, roasted marshmallow, and spices. The mid-palate is fleshy and rich, followed by a clean, mineral finish.

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