It’s been a beautiful few days here in the Pacific Northwest. Unusually warm spring weather brought everyone outdoors, with barbecues grills heavily in use. It’s just a little exciting when one can grill outside without donning the rain gear.
In addition to grilling all weekend, I made a big bowl of my Mother in Law’s Macaroni Salad, the Bennett Crew’s favorite. Along with a dish of my brother’s famous salsa. Bought three huge jar’s of Woodstock organic pickles (I love chilled pickles on a hot day) and I brought out the pretty glass pitcher for my sweet tea.
Although we enjoyed our warm and sunny weekend, my chicken gals didn’t enjoy it quite as much. The hen-house and chicken yard is nicely shaded but that didn’t keep my chicken gals from digging holes everywhere.
I found Cocoa (my friendliest and bossiest chicken gal) in a hole so deep, all I saw was her head. It startled me and for a split second; I thought my chicken gal was ill. Thankfully she popped out of her dirt hole, excited and clucking when she saw me approach the chicken yard. I’m sure she knew I was bringing freshly dug worms, leftover kale and chard for afternoon treats.
I can happily say the Bennett Crew did not get freshly dug worms, leftover kale or chard for their afternoon treat. Nope, much to their delight, they were served Asparagus and Leek Soup with Crispy Mushroom Gremolata. A flavorsome soup, rich with the flavor of spring asparagus and leeks.
Although it was warm outside, I served the soup room temperature and it was perfectly delicious. It’s also delicious served warm, for those cool spring evenings sure to return.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!
Asparagus and Leek Soup with Crispy Mushroom Gremolata
Can easily be doubled
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 ½ cups chopped leek, white and pale green parts only
1 clove garlic, lightly chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ cups vegetable broth (for a thinner soup, add additional broth at the end of preparation)
½ pint heavy cream
½ teaspoon herbs de Provence, crushed between fingers as you’re adding it to the soup
Squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Gremolata
¼ cup thinly sliced mixed mushrooms (I used chanterelle, cremini and shitake)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan or small pot over medium heat and add the leeks and garlic. Sauté until the leeks are soft and somewhat golden.
Add the asparagus and the vegetable broth and simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Puree ¾ of the vegetable mixture in a blender, vitamix or food processor until smooth. If you want a completely smooth soup go ahead and blend all the vegetables.
Add the puree back to the pot and then stir in the herbs de Provence crushing it between your fingers as you add it. Then stir in the heavy cream and just a squeeze of lemon. Heat the soup on low, without bringing it to a boil or simmer, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Take the soup off the heat and let it sit covered while you prepare the Gremolata.
In a sauté pan heat the butter and when it’s hot and frothy add the mushrooms. Let them “toast” in the butter and once they are soft and slightly toasty take the pan off the heat and gently toss with the parsley and lemon.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the Mushroom Gremolata. Serve immediately.
This soup is lovely served room temperature during the summer months. Pair with a crisp, dry white wine.