The weather here in Boston has been so gloomy every day and not spring-like at all, but luckily our vegetables know what time it is. In my neighborhood, the Fenway CDC has a Fair Foods program offering fresh vegetables for $2 per bag twice a month, regardless of income level, and the last one was filled with more fresh, crisp asparagus than I knew what to do with!
Asparagus is rich in nutrients and fiber, and actually quite high in protein compared to other vegetables, but the longer it sits, the more nutrients it loses, so I needed a way to cook it up quickly. When in doubt – make soup.
When shopping for asparagus, choose the darkest green you can find, it’ll have the highest concentration of nutrients like potassium; Vitamins K, C, and A; B vitamins; iron; and antioxidants. The antioxidants in these spears, as well as their anti-inflammatory enzyme inhibitors, make them healing for conditions like arthritis and rheumatism.
As for the other main ingredient, leeks are important for their immune-boosting and antioxidant properties, but the biggest thing I want to talk about is that they are FILTHY vegetables. Make sure you wash them really well before using. The best way to do this is to fill a large bowl with cold water, slice them up as you want to use them in this recipe, put them in the water and give it a swish. Rub them with your fingers as well to really get rid of the grit. The dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl, and you can scoop the sliced leeks out with your hands or a slotted spoon.
With that said… let’s get cooking! (For a vegan option, use vegetable broth, and try this recipe for a cashew creme fraiche to use instead of greek yogurt.)
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 2 leeks (dark green tops removed), thinly sliced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, depending on taste, minced
- 1 bunch asparagus (woody ends discarded), chopped
- 2½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼-1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 scallion, chopped
- pinch chipotle powder
- Melt ghee in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat. Add leeks and stir to coat. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes.
- Add minced garlic (1 clove if you're normal, 2 if you're Italian and it runs through your blood), and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add asparagus and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes.
- Blend soup with immersion blender (or VERY CAREFULLY in a regular blender, do it in small portions). Stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, pour into bowl and add a dollop of greek yogurt. Garnish with scallions and a pinch of chipotle powder.
Make your own cashew creme fraiche to make vegan.
I found chipotle powder by Archer Farms at Target. You can also use cayenne or chili powder.