This beautifully simple soup has a surprisingly complex flavor from the added step of roasting the asparagus before simmering and pureeing. It’s pure asparagus heaven, with a silky, natural creaminess. Of course, a slip of cream helps things along nicely in that department. Really though, it’s all about the gremolata. A generous spoonful of the bright and bold herb mixture makes every bite of this soup as exciting as the first.
Did you do a little over-indulging this weekend? Me too! Easter weekend is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It earmarks the official start of spring, and many sunshine filled days to come. My weekend was full of family, food and fun. Did I mention food? I’m definitely in need of some light meals, or I am indeed in danger of bursting. Plus, there’s still lots of leftover raspberry creme layer cake….all things in moderation you know.
Gremolata is a classic Italian garnish. It’s usually made with lemon zest, garlic and generous amounts of parsley. In this adaptation, the original gets a makeover with the addition of freshly chopped tarragon. Fantastic!
- 1.5 pounds asparagus (trimmed and halved)
- Make sure to snap off the fibrous ends
- 2 small leeks (white and light green parts only, sliced)
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
- 4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel (from 2 large lemons)
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon (fine mince)
- 1 small garlic clove (fine minced, or pressed)
- Toss asparagus and chopped leeks with olive oil and spread out on a large baking sheet
- Broil on high for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through or until veggies are tender with some charred edges
- Transfer asparagus and leeks to a large soup pot, and add bay leaves and broth
- Simmer for 20 minutes, remove bay leaves and blend til smooth with an immersion blender, or in batches in your regular blender
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir in cream
- Serve with a generous spoonful of gremolata
- Grate lemon zest, mince garlic and herbs, and toss to combine
Easy breezy. You’ll want to scoop up every last drop of this soup with some crispy bread.
I enjoyed the leftover gremolata layered into an easy Saturday morning strata. Yum! I think I’ll have to make that bad boy again to share it with you guys. Caramelized onion, fennel, and herbs galore. Mmmmm….but this post is about soup. Yes. Soup. Easily distracted.