Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cream of Asparagus Soup

adapted from Soups, Stews and Chilis

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cleaned and chopped leeks
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoons)
1/3 cup dry white wine, optional add more water, broth or apple juice
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds trimmed green asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
dash nutmeg
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, to taste
fresh Parmesan, for serving (if desired)

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. When melted, add the leeks and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute.
Stir in the flour, mixing well with the butter, and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the white wine. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits. Cook for 1 minute.
Add 3 cups of broth, whisking to eliminate any lumps. Bring liquid to a simmer over medium-heat. Add the asparagus pieces and the bay leaf. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Add the mixture to a food processor, working in batches if needed, and purée until soup is very smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of broth, if needed.
Pour the soup back into the pot over low heat. Stir in the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice. Heat the soup for 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add extra liquid until preferred consistency is reached. If desired, grate a bit of fresh Parmesan on top.

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