Asparagus & Leek Soup
Asparagus and leek soup is a common combination as both vegetables are harvested in spring at a time when few other vegetables are in season.
Asparagus spears are best picked when young. If the spears are large, peeling or shaving them is recommended.
Leeks mature and swell with the spring rain. Fresh leeks need a good wash as it is common for earth to be trapped between the layers of their leaves.
Read on for the full recipe, or see all soups.
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Asparagus and leeks are both available in April and May when there is little else ready for eating. Combined together they make a healthy, light, creamy tasting soup good for adults and children.
Asparagus spears are best picked when young. If you want to use up taller thicker spears in a soup, it may be worth peeling or shaving them before cooking. The asparagus is prepared by thoroughly cleaning and chopping into 5 centimetre or 2 inch lengths.
Leeks are a very hardy vegetable that mature and swell with the spring rain. Leeks should be dug up and thoroughly cleaned – it is common for soil to be trapped within the layers of leaves.
Once the leeks are washed and the upper leaves cut away, they can be roughly chopped. A final wash and rinse should remove any remaining dirt.
The soup also uses a small potato chopped into small pieces for flavour and to help thicken the soup, and about 750ml of vegetable stock (or a little more if you like a thinner soup).
The first cooking step is to sweat the leeks to sweeten them. Pour some olive oil in a pan, add the leeks, cover with a lid, and cook over a medium heat. Regularly stir the leeks to prevent them sticking.
After five to ten minutes the leeks will be ready – taste for sweetness. If the leeks are crunchy they need a little more cooking. Next, all the remaining ingredients are added to the pan – the vegetable stock, asparagus, and potatoes.
The mixture should be returned to the boil, and then left to gently simmer over a low heat for a further 15 minutes. Cooking is complete when all the vegetables are soft – almost crumbly – when touched with a fork.
Before serving, liquidise the soup using a blender. If you prefer a smooth soup without bits, the mixture can be strained through a sieve. This gives a fine soup with a delicate flavour.
The ingredients provide soup for four hungry people. I suggest to serve with fresh bread.