Non-fat or low-fat milk or half-and-half may be substituted for cream. 2 lbs. frozen grilled asparagus may be substituted for fresh if desired. Partially thaw, dice stalks, and reserve tips as above. Add when remaining vegetables are fully sauteed, and proceed with remaining instructions. Use low-sodium chicken broth if available. Do not over season. Season with small amount of smoked sea salt to enhance flavor of the dish.
- 2 small baking potatoes, washed & peeled
- 1 large leek, washed & diced
- 1 medium shallot, diced (optional)
- 1.5-2 lbs fresh asparagus, washed & peeled (if necessary)
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1/2 cup cream (or use half-n-half, or 2% milk)
- 3-4 tbls virgin olive oil
- 1 tbls butter
- snipped chives (for garnish, if desired)
- sour cream or Greek yogurt (also for garnish)
Grill asparagus in advance. Wash, peel (if necessary), and snap off lower 1/3 of each stalk and set aside. Brush remaining stalks lightly with olive oil and grill about 1-2 minutes over gas or charcoal grill.
In large (6-8 quart) Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add butter and diced leek, and saute until softened (3-4 mins). Add diced potatoes and shallot. Stir and continue to saute over low heat. Dice and add the unsmoked portions (lower 1/3) of the asparagus stalks, and saute until tender. Add the grilled asparagus stalks (chopped, reserving the tender tips to add (whole) to the soup at the very end).
Stir combined mixture, add chicken stock to cover the vegetables, cover and simmer over low heat about 1 hour, until tender, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
Transfer the cooled mixture from pan into a food processor or blender (or use a portable pureeing tool directly in the cooking pan itself). Puree until completely smooth. Return mixture to pan. Warm on low heat, add remaining chicken stock, and cream (or milk). Season to taste, stir in asparagus tips.
Soup may be served warm, or chilled overnight and served cold (traditional), garnished with snipped chives and 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream or yogurt.
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Submitted By: George Lucas
Grilled Asparagus Vichyssoise