Sorry for the momentary diversion but it can't be all soup all the time. Just most of the time. Ahem.
This last week we whipped up some Creamy Asparagus Soup using some asparagus I snatched up at the PSU Saturday Farmer's Market and some left over buttermilk I was itching to use up (I get antsy if I know there's impending spoilage in the fridge). This recipe came from Mich's soup bible, aka The Big Book of Soups and Stews. We modified it slightly because the grocery store only had one leek left so we subbed a yellow onion. Also, we sauteed some shrimp in orange juice, salt and pepper to throw on top. Oh and those red strips? That's our attempt at "presentation" with a couple of red bell pepper slivers. All in all, a solid soup.
Creamy Asparagus Soup with Shrimp
adapted from The Big Book of Soups and Stews
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 leeks, whit and light green parts only, sliced 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 lb asparagus, tough end removed and discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (can use low-fat)
1/2 cup bay shrimp for topping (we used large ones as that is what we had)
In a soup pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add leeks and celery and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add potato and stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. Add asparagus and simmer, covered, until potato and asparagus are tender, about 10 minutes longer.
Transfer to blender or food processor in batches and puree. Return to pot and stir in salt, pepper, and buttermilk and reheat. For a creamier soup, puree again. Serve in bowls with a few shrimp sprinkled on top.