Cold-Spring-Night Asparagus Soup
In most of the country, spring nights are still chilly enough for warming soups. This one is an appropriate bridge between winter and spring, and I like to sip it from a mug in front of one of the season’s last crackling fires. It’s hearty with chicken stock and a leek and bright from the herbs (dill and cilantro) and sour cream. Be generous with the sour cream. It lends a tangy richness to the soup.
Serves 4 to 6
1 large leek, pale green and white parts only
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, smashed
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
12 cilantro sprigs
6 fresh dill sprigs
Sour cream for serving
1. Slice the leeks crosswise and rinse under cold running water.
2. Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan until the foam subsides. Cook the leek and garlic with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the leek is soft but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
3. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces, then add to the stock. Cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cilantro and dill. Transfer the soup to a blender in batches and blend until smooth. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream.
Excerpted from THE FARM by Ian Knauer. Copyright © 2012 by Ian Knauer. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.