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.
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.