In my last asparagus related post, I talked a whole lot about the German time of glee that is Spargelzeit – or asparagus season. Germans around here go particularly crazy for the more distinguished white variety, which sells for almost double the price of the green variety, and one of the more popular uses for this thicker and richer kind is their beloved Spargelsuppe, which is a special these days in every single restaurant, bistro, cornerstore food stop found in the region.
Leeks are a wonderful thing in themselves. Part of the family that also includes garlic, shallots, scallions and chives, the leek produces a long cylinder of bundled leaf sheaths – unlike the onion, which forms a tight bulb. Their mild, onion-like taste is key to that magical touch in foods, particularly in flavoring stocks. Some famous leek recipes include cock-a-leekie soup, leek & potato soup, vichyssoise, and of course plain leek soup. I paired them together with white asparagus for this simple & nutritious creamy soup, part of my (somewhat) on-going detox plan!
For the Soup
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of leeks
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 pound (500g) of asparagus
- 1/2 cup (120g) of all-purpose flour
- 4 cups (1L) of light stock
- 1 cup (240ml) of coconut milk
- Salt & pepper
- Ham, for garnishing
- Grated cheese, such as Cheddar or Swiss
To prepare the white asparagus, chop off 1-1/2 inches from the stalk, as it tends to be very chewy and stringy. Discard, for in my opinion this makes for a rather uncomfortable eating experience. Chop each asparagus shoot into three equal pieces and set aside. Warm the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, which have been previously quartered, and cook, stirring, until tender but not brown. Add the garlic. Stir in the chopped asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the flour and turn the heat to high. Slowly stir in the light stock, which can be poultry stock, chicken broth, or any other light stock or broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the asparagus is very tender, stirring occasionally.
Using an immersion blender (or your trustworthy food processor) process until smooth – and I mean real smooth! Asparagus tend to be very fibrous and if you don’t really get in there, you might get surprised at the amount of stringy gunk that lingers. With the soup still in the pot, set the heat to low and add the coconut milk and heat through, but do not boil. Add salt & pepper to taste and serve garnished with chopped ham & grated cheese.