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Asparagus Soup with Leeks and Mustard Seed


Serves 8 as a first course

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 97

Mustard seeds add a little bite to this creamy, mellow soup, a perfect starter for Easter or any spring supper.

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  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1-1/4 cups thinly sliced leeks
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs. white wine
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 2-1/4 lb. asparagus, bottom of stems trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more as needed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When hot, add the leeks, garlic and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir well, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the aromatics are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp. kosher salt and the mustard seeds.

Add the asparagus, chicken broth, and wine, plus 2-1/2 cups water. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender and the soup is full-flavored, 7 to 20 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and let the soup cool for 5 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (fill the jar no more than half full and vent the lid, topping it with a folded kitchen towel to prevent hot splashes). Wipe the pan clean and put the soup back into the pan.

Add the cream and 1/2 tsp. lemon juice. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.

Ladle into 8 soup bowls and garnish each serving with 1 to 2 tsp. chopped parsley.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 100; Fat (g): fat g 7; Fat Calories (kcal): 60; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 3; Protein (g): protein g 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 8; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 200; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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