I had picked up a particularly large bunch of asparagus for a particularly good price, and, after thoroughly enjoying it roasted with olive oil, good balsamic vinegar and great bleu cheese; we had leftovers.
What to do?
Why, soup, for sure! As always, I had stashed the tough, woody ends trimmed from the asparagus in a bag in the freezer, so there was plenty to start a stock with; and the leftover roasted spears and bleu cheese
•Woody asparagus ends from the freezer*
•Leftover roasted asparagus
•3 tbsp garlic, minced
•4 cups chicken stock
•1/4 cup dry vermouth
•2 tbsp butter
•1/4 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp white pepper
•1/4 cup heavy cream
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce**
•2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
*Whenever I make asparagus, I stash the tough trimmed ends from the spears in a zipper bag in the freezer; they are prefect for turning chicken (or veggie) stock into an asparagus soup base.
**Or just use a sprinkle of good sherry – I like amontillado.
Slice the white part of the leek thinly and add to a bowl with the minced garlic.
Soak the leek greens in a large bowl of water to remove any bits of sand and/or grit, then drain and rinse well.
Bring the chicken stock and the vermouth to a boil in a large pot, then add the woody asparagus ends and the leek greens.
Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes to infuse the stock with all that asparagus and leek goodness. Strain and discard the asparagus ends and leeks.
While the asparagus stock is draining, melt the butter in the bottom of your soup pot over medium high heat, then add the sliced white bits of leek and the garlic and sauté for three minutes.
Add the drained stock, the leftover roasted asparagus, and the salt and pepper, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Take a taste and correct the seasoning, if you think it needs it. I added a couple of good gratings of black pepper, because I think just about everything could do with a bit of good black pepper, and one tablespoon of Sherry Peppers Sauce, but other than that, this soup is just about good to go.
If you’re making this soup ahead of time, allow to cool, then cover and stash in the fridge until needed.
If you’re planning on serving right away, return the puréed soup to medium heat, whisk in the cream, and stir until heated through – about five minutes.
Starting with leftover asparagus, you won’t have any of those bright green asparagus tips to add as a garnish to your bowl, but you will have yourself
one. Fine. Asparagus Soup.