Spring is here–finally!! In the culinary world, one sure sign of spring is the appearance of fresh asparagus at your local markets. Here’s delicious soup that features asparagus to celebrate the season. Happy Spring!
2 tablespoons oil (I use canola oil)
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, thoroughly washed* and thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock (I use homemade stock, but store bought is ok)
1/2 pound asparagus, peeled and tough lower ends snapped off
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths (I use Yukon Golds)
Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan or pot. Add the sliced leeks and saute over low heat for about 20 minutes until leeks are wilted, translucent and tender. (Be careful not to burn leeks—they should be light gold in color.)
Add 4 cups of the chicken stock. Then add the asparagus and potatoes, basil and tarragon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer covered until the potatoes are tender about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, cool to lukewarm, then puree in a food processor or blender.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and thin the soup with the remaining 1 cup chicken stock, if necessary.
Garnish with asparagus tops and/or chives.
This soup can be made one to two days ahead and reheated. It can also be served cold.
Makes 4-6 servings.
*Be sure to wash the leeks very carefully—they can be very sandy and grainy.
**To parboil asparagus, place in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and place in ice water to set color.