Asparagus stars in this flavorful soup, a favorite recipe from my Italian grandmother. I have fond memories of chopping veggies and cooking with her as a child. —Sandy Clayton, Visalia, California
- 2 pounds thin fresh asparagus
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 2 cups half-and-half cream
- Shaved Parmesan cheese, optional
- Cut tips from asparagus spears; set aside. Place stalks in a large skillet; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain, reserving 4 cups cooking liquid. Discard stalks.
- In a Dutch oven, saute the potatoes, onion, celery, carrot, parsley and garlic in oil until vegetables are tender. Stir in the broth, salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, bay leaf and reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Cool slightly.
- In a blender, cover and puree soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pan. Add the chicken, cream, remaining pepper and reserved asparagus tips. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. Yield: 10 servings (about 2 quarts).
Originally published as Chicken Asparagus Soup in Taste of Home April/May 2008, p51
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