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Cream of Asparagus (or Cream of Morel, or Cream of Anything) Soup

Cream of Asparagus (or Cream of Morel, or Cream of Anything) Soup
Serves 4
Here's a rich and creamy soup loaded with asparagus flavor—or any veggie flavor you'd like to try.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound asparagus with tough lower stems trimmed away, roughly chopped (but this works just as well with any number of veggies, like mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery, etc.)
  2. Aromatic(s) of choice, to taste—garlic, shallots, ginger, leeks, scallions
  3. 1/2 cup chopped onion (I used 3 medium sized leeks and counted that as my aromatic too)
  4. 1 stalk celery, chopped
  5. 3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil (I used butter)
  6. 3-4 tablespoons flour
  7. 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or more as needed to get the proper consistency)
  8. 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat up the butter or oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven and sweat the onions, celery, aromatics, and whatever vegetable you're featuring—asparagus, mushrooms (this recipe is delectable with morels), broccoli, etc. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables have softened, but not browned, and the onions have turned translucent. Add a bit of salt and pepper.
  2. To make a roux, sprinkle three tablespoons of flour over the veggies in the pan and stir constantly until the flour starts to turn a light tan, up to 10 minutes or so.
  3. Slowly add the stock to the pot, stirring briskly to keep lumps from forming. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then turn down to a simmer. Stirring frequently , simmer soup for 20 minutes or so, until the veggies are soft and the soup is a bit thicker.
  4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (stick blender) or in a blender, if desired. I have an immersion blender that I love to use for pureed soups and any number of other purposes; so much easier and neater than pouring the soup into a blender and back again! If you prefer your cream soup chunky you can skip this step, as I just did with a batch of morel soup.
  5. Return the soup to the pot and add the cream to taste, bringing the soup back to a gentle simmer. If it's too thick, thin it with a bit more stock. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. Because I like to see some visible chunks of vegetables in my cream-of-anything soup, I added an extra step and another handful of non-pureed asparagus. After pureeing the soup, but before adding the cream, I added about a cup of asparagus sliced into smallish pieces, with the asparagus heads fully intact, and simmered them until tender for an extra 10 minutes or so. Then I added the cream and heated the pot back up to a simmer. So good!
  2. (Updated May 6, 2015)
Adapted from salon.com, who adapted it from "The Professional Chef," 7th edition, Culinary Institute of America
MO Deep Roots http://www.modeeproots.com/

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