“Every spring I wait impatiently for the asparagus crop to arrive so I can make cream of asparagus soup. One year I added the leftovers from Easter, and it turned into this hit that has since become a spring tradition.” Susan Wilson — Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 2 medium leeks (white portion only), chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 carton (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 1 teaspoon minced chives
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 5 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
- 1-1/4 cups half-and-half cream
- 3 tablespoons shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
- In a large saucepan, saute leeks in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually add the broth, water, parsley, herbes de Provence, chives, celery seed and nutmeg. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Cut tips off asparagus and set aside. Cut stalks into 1/2-in. pieces; add to pan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Cool slightly.
- In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to pan. Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in asparagus tips; cover and simmer 5-8 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Stir in ham and cream; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 9 servings (2-1/4 quarts).
Originally published as Day After Easter Soup in Healthy Cooking April/May 2010, p35
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