Tastes Like Spring Soup

April 27, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes 1 quart
Author Notes

With beautiful asparagus at the farmer’s market and fresh leek and fennel in my CSA box, I could not resist making a spring soup. Topped with a slightly peppery nasturtium bloom and a drizzle of earthy truffle oil, this soup reminds me of all the reasons I am happy it is spring.

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 pounds asparagus, woody ends broken off
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced crosswise (2 oz when trimmed)
  • 2 baby leeks, trimmed, washed, thinly sliced (2 oz when trimmed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vermouth (can substitute 3 T vodka)
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1-2 tablespoons mascarpone
  • Squeeze of a small Meyer lemon wedge
  • Sea salt to taste, if desired
  • Nasturtium blooms (optional, but recommended)
  • Truffle oil (optional, but recommended)
  1. Trim off asparagus tips (about top 2 inches) and set aside. Slice remaining stems on the bias, in one inch pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven. When foam subsides, add sliced leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, beginning to get soft and translucent. Add sliced asparagus and vermouth (or vodka), stir and cook for 30 seconds. Cover pot and cook for 3 minutes. Add reserved tips, cover and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from heat.
  3. Add water and half-and-half to pot. Carefully transfer mixture to a blender. Puree mixture until smooth. Add mascarpone, starting with one tablespoon, and white wine vinegar and puree again. Taste to adjust seasonings adding an additional tablespoon of mascarpone if desired. Add squeeze of lemon, and sea salt if desired.
  4. Serve in bowls at warm, at room temperature or chilled. Top with nasturtium bloom and a drizzle of truffle oil if desired. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TiggyBee
  • hardlikearmour
  • gingerroot

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

4 Reviews

TiggyBee May 9, 2011
Wow!! The flavors you've got going on here are amazing!! I still remember your lovely radish soup, so I know you know soups!!
gingerroot May 11, 2011
Thanks so much TiggyBee!! I actually made it again tonight and tried it without roasting the fennel - I think in this application it works better, since the roasted fennel flavor was almost overpowering the asparagus.
hardlikearmour April 27, 2011
Gorgeous! I just planted some nasturtiums a few days ago, so I've got a while to wait for the flowers.
gingerroot April 27, 2011
Thank you, hardlikearmour! I had never eaten a nasturtium before growing one. They have a lovely light peppery bite to them that I really enjoy. Have you ever pickled their seeds?