It is spargel (asparagus) season here in Germany. Everywhere you go, there it is – at the train station and the mall, on the side of the road, in supermarkets and on practically every menu in the city. They prefer their asparagus white here and there are a few signature dishes that have been pretty much perfected in the last few centuries (see my post on a restaurant older than the United States). One of those specialties is cream of asparagus soup. They do not use potatoes here, but I wanted to oomph my soup up a bit so, I added some. It came out great and went souper with some freshly baked bread.
Asparagus and Potato Soup
1 medium leek, approximately 500 grams – light green and white parts cut in half circles, dark green parts cut into 3 inch long sections.
500 grams asparagus – tough ends and tips cut off and reserved, stalks cut into 1 inch sections
1/2 cup finely sliced shallot
2 cups potatoes in small cubes
4 TBSP butter
3 cloves garlic – 2 whole, 1 minced
5 sprigs parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
6 cups water
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 cup cream (optional)
- Heat 2 TBSP of butter in a medium pot. Add the tough ends of the asparagus, shallots, 2 cloves of garlic and the dark green parts of the leek. Saute over low heat for approximately 30 until the vegetables are extremely soft. When the vegetables are soft, add the water and herbs. Cook on medium – high for an additional 20 – 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a medium pot with a few inches of water to cook half of the potatoes. Five minutes before the potatoes are done, add the asparagus tips. When the potatoes and asparagus are done, strain and rinse with cold water.
- When the potatoes and asparagus tips are done, heat the remaining 2 TBSP of butter in the pot and add the leeks. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced clove of garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the remaining potatoes and asparagus.
- Using a strainer to remove the solid parts from the stock, pour the stock into the pot with the leeks, potatoes and asparagus. Cook for an additional 20 – 30 minutes until the vegetables are very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring the soup to a blender. Working in batches, blend the soup until smooth and creamy.
- Return the soup to the original pot and heat over medium – low heat. Add the cream (if desired), reserved potatoes and asparagus and heat through. Serve immediately.
Saute the dark green parts of the leeks, shallots, garlic and tough asparagus ends to make a tasty stock.
Saute the leeks and minced garlic
Add the stock to the leeks, asparagus and potatoes and cook until very soft
Puree and add reserved asparagus and potatoes, plus cream (if desired)
Serve with fresh bread