This silky soup is a wonderful way to welcome spring. It’s full of the fresh flavor of the season’s first asparagus, with added texture and richness from pureed potato and a garnish of crème fraîche. Serve it with crust bread and a glass of crisp white wine.
Cream of Asparagus Soup
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts, finely chopped
1 lb. (500 g.) thick asparagus, trimmed, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm.) pieces, tips reserved
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5-cm.) chunks
4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l.) vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and ground white pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tbs. crème fraîche or sour cream
1 Tbs. finely chopped chives
In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter with the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus stalks and potato and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the lemon juice and reserved asparagus tips and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return to the pot and reheat over low heat. Serve, garnished with the crème fraîche, asparagus tips, and chives. Serves 4-6.
Find more soup recipes for every season and occasion in our cookbook Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan.