Spring ingredients shine in this simple yet tasty soup.
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 – 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, to taste, divided
2 large bunches asparagus (about 2 to 2½ pounds), rough ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, tips removed and reserved for garnish, optional (see note in step 3)
1 large red potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces, held in water to prevent oxidation
¼ cup dry white wine or cognac
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (the clearer the broth, the greener the soup will be)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Crème fraîche for garnish
Chopped chives for garnish
Nutritional information per serving (based on 6 servings):
Calories 97 (26% from fat) • carb. 13g • sugars 4g • pro. 5g • fat 35g • sat. fat 2g
• chol. 8mg • sod. 650mg • calc. 45mg • fiber 3g
2. Put the butter in a medium stockpot set over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and leeks with a half teaspoon of salt; stir until you hear a slight sizzle and then cover pan to sweat the leeks for about 5 to 10 minutes, until they are very soft.
3. Add the asparagus stalks and potato to the pan. Stir to coat all vegetables and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour in white wine or cognac and stir until completely reduced. Add remaining salt and pepper and stir in the broth. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until all vegetables are very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
4. While soup is simmering, steam the asparagus tips separately, about 5 to 8 minutes, until crisp tender. Shock tips in ice water to maintain a bright green color. Once cool, thinly slice tips lengthwise to be used for garnish. (Note: This step is optional, but makes for a great presentation.)
5. Once soup vegetables are tender, select Speed 3 and start blending, using the blending shafts. Gradually increase to Speed 5, until puréed, about 1½ minutes. If using a larger pot, tilt the pan away from you to ensure that the protective guard of the blending blade is fully submerged to prevent splatter.
6. Stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
7. Serve immediately, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche, some chopped chives and asparagus tips.
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