Recipe Corner: Asparagus and Spinach Soup

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Ingredients:

1 pound asparagus, washed, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces

3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil (to taste)

2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from 3 medium leeks)

1 medium onion, finely diced (or 4-5 shallots)

1 large Yukon Gold or Russet potato, peeled and diced

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2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery (plus tops), chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 oz. fresh baby spinach (one small bag)

8 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup light cream or half and half  (to taste)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and black or white pepper

Pinch of thyme, curry powder, dill or paprika

Olive oil

 

Toppings: chives, green onions, mint, parsley, lemon zest, yogurt, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, chopped hard boiled eggs or croutons

 

Preparation:

In a large pot, sauté leeks, onions, potato, carrots, celery and garlic in butter (or olive oil) until onions are tender; add the asparagus and cook a few minutes longer.  Add the broth,  lemon juice, and spices and bring to a full boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until vegetables are soft.  Check seasonings, add spinach, and cook a few minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

If desired, puree soup using an emulsion blender to a creamy consistency or use a regular blender or food processor and puree soup in batches, and add soup back to pot.  Add cream or half and half and heat through for 10 minutes.  Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.  Garnish with toppings and serve.

Note:  Before serving, 2 cups of cooked shrimp or flaked crabmeat or 1/4 cup sherry, dry vermouth, or white wine may be added.  If serving cold, cool soup slightly, stir in cream or buttermilk, cover, and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

Serves 6.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and athttp://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/

 

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