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Similarly to my habit with salads, I tend to prepare a big pot of soup on Sunday to carry us through a few weeknight dinners. Since spring has officially sprung here in Dallas, I happily acquired some beautiful leeks, fresh garlic from the farmer’s market and asparagus for a creamy and flavorful soup inspired by this recipe of Pamela Salzman’s. I chose the option of potatoes instead of rolled oats this go around.

Don’t forget to save the woody ends of the asparagus and the tough, dark part of the leeks in a freezer bag for homemade stock.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts chopped
  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (or 1lb of yukon gold or new potatoes)
  • 2 bunches of asparagus, about 2 pounds, woody ends trimmed* and stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 cups water (or asparagus stock – see note at bottom of recipe)
  • 1 large piece of lemon peel, about 2 inches
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt (more if you use unsalted stock)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, heat about 3 tablespoons water. Add the onion and leek and sauté over medium heat until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring soup to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cover pot and cook for 10 -15 minutes until asparagus is very tender.
  • Turn off heat and remove the lemon peel. Or for a more assertive lemon flavor, blend the peel or half the peel with the soup. Puree the soup until smooth, either directly in the pot with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender (keep the lid open a crack.) Ideas for garnishes: steamed asparagus tips, garlic croutons, shaved Pecorino-Romano cheese or chopped chives.

*Save the ends for vegetable stock (recipe here) or boil the ends in 3 cups of water for 20-30 minutes for an asparagus stock. This should yield approximately 2 cups of asparagus stock, but measure anyway.