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Author Notes: Spring asparagus simmered with fragrant leeks and pureed with a pinch of herbs de Provence, sea salt and black pepper. A dash of cream to add a luxurious texture and topped with a crispy mushroom gremolata. —Karista
- 1- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
- 1 1/2 cups chopped leeks, white to light green only
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence
- 1 squeeze of lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced cremini or shitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Heat the butter in a medium saucepan or small pot over medium heat and add the leeks and garlic. Sauté until the leeks are soft and somewhat golden.
- Add the asparagus and the vegetable broth and simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Puree ¾ of the vegetable mixture in a blender, vitamix or food processor until smooth. If you want a completely smooth soup go ahead and blend all the vegetables.
- Add the puree back to the pot and then stir in the herbs de Provence crushing it between your fingers as you add it. Then stir in the heavy cream and just a squeeze of lemon. Heat the soup on low, without bringing it to a boil or simmer, and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Take the soup off the heat and let it sit covered while you prepare the Gremolata.
- In a sauté pan heat the butter and when it’s hot and frothy add the mushrooms. Let them “toast” in the butter and once they are soft and slightly toasty take the pan off the heat and gently toss with the parsley and lemon.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the Mushroom Gremolata. Serve immediately.
- This soup is lovely served room temperature during the summer months. Pair with a crisp, dry white wine.