Thursday, July 1, 2010

Soup for Summer: Part 2 - Asparagus

Come summer, a recipe has to be pretty intriguing for me to get the energy to turn on the stove (otherwise it's cold salads and microwaved meals). But the asparagus soup recipe from Eating Well looked good enough to risk sweltering in an already overheated kitchen. After all, asparagus season was ending, and it was my last chance to use up the half bunch in the crisper. So on a recent "cool" evening (with temperatures finally dipping into the 60s and 70s), I fired up the gas burner and made soup. In the summer.
With a little tweaking (leeks for onions, garlic scapes for garlic clove), the end result was more like a vichyssoise -- perfect for enjoying hot or cold. Or, in other words, a perfect soup for summer (as long as you can bear standing over the stove)!
Asparagus Spinach Vichyssoise
1 T. Light whipped butter
2 T. Olive oil
2 Leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 Clove of garlic, mashed
1/2 t. Salt
1/2 t. Curry powder
1/2 t. Ginger root, grated
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
2 C. Red potatoes, diced
3 C. Chicken broth
1 C. Lite Coconut milk
2 C. Asparagus, chopped
2 C. Baby spinach Black pepper
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat; add leeks and cook until soft.
Add garlic, salt, curry powder, ginger root and lemon zest; cook for three minutes.
Add potatoes, broth and coconut milk; simmer for 10 minutes.
Add asparagus; summer for 5 minutes more.
Remove pot from heat; add baby spinach and then puree mixture using immersion blender.
Season with additional salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Serve hot or cooled.

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