Asparagus and Leek Soup
2 cups chopped white and pale green part of leek, washed well (about 2 large leeks)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds asparagus
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2/3 cups sour cream
Discard the tough ends of the asparagus (bend each stalk and it'll break at the tough end). For each stalk, chop off the tip (about 1-1 1/2 inches) and set aside. Chop the stalks into 1-inch pieces.
In a large saucepan, cook the leek and the garlic in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the leek is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus (not tips), the broth, and 1 cup water, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the asparagus tips until tender, about 1 minute. Drain in ice water and transfer to a small bowl.
In batches, purée leek mixture in a blender until it is very smooth. Whisk in the sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Add the asparagus tips and cook the soup over moderately low heat until it is heated through, but do not let it boil.
Note: This recipe is very similar to the other asparagus soup recipe (asparagus soup with creme fraiche) I posted but this one uses leeks instead of onions! It has a thicker, coarser texture. Don't forget that asparagus season is Spring!
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