Sunday, April 29, 2018

Giada's Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

After two Sundays with bean-ful soups, plus a vegan chili added in mid-week, I am stepping away from the legumes to make Giada De Laurentiis's Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese from Food Network. It just sounded good and I am a sucker for a good topping/stir in and had some goat cheese I bought for a recipe I didn't end up making that needed to be used up.

I made a few small changes to the recipe--just adding garlic and a little spice, not enough to detract from the asparagus and basil but enough to enhance it. I also stirred in some lemon juice at the end because I wanted the bright notes.

Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network
(Makes 4 to 6 Servings --1/2 cup)

Goat Cheese:
1/2 cup (4 oz) goat cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil cooking spray

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large leek, white and light green part only, finely sliced (I used 2 leeks)
(I added 2 cloves garlic, minced)
(I added 1 tsp celery salt & 1 tsp dried basil)
4 cups low sodium broth (chicken or veg)
2 lbs medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
(I added 2 tsp fresh lemon juice)

Goat cheese: Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a fork, in a small bowl, combine the goat cheese and basil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a 1/2-ounce cookie scoop or a round tablespoon measure sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray, scoop the goat cheese into balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Soup: In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring constantly until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. (I added the garlic, celery salt and dried basil and sauteed for another minute here.) Add the broth, asparagus and basil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (I stirred in two teaspoons of lemon juice here.) Keep the soup warm over low heat.

To serve: Ladle the soup into shallow bowls and garnish with the herbed goat cheese. (I also garnished with shaved asparagus and a couple of basil leaves.) 

Cook's Note: The soup can also be pureed by ladling, in batches, into a food processor or blender and blended until smooth.

Notes/Results: A rich-tasting soup with good flavor on its own but it is the herbed goat cheese balls that make it shine. I am for putting herbed goat cheese balls in/on everything--soups and salads, pasta... ;-) If you wanted to make it vegan, you could use a vegan cream cheese in place of the goat cheese. I like the additional flavor I added to the soup with the garlic, spice and lemon--I felt like the soup would have lacked a bit without it. I meant to buy bread to go with the soup but forgot so I served it with cracked pepper water crackers for a light lunch before some tuna pasta salad. This soup is easy to make and pretty enough to make for a party or luncheon. I would make it again with my changes.

Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it's our April IHCC Potluck--our chance to cook any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs.

 We have some great friends and dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!

Amber of The Hungry Mountaineer is back with Hot and Sour Soup and says, "You can add your favorite protein to this soup, whether it be chicken, shrimp or tofu but I prefer to add leftover rotisserie chicken, like this one I am completely addicted to from Sprout’s. No joke, last week when I was driving home up our winding mountain highways and was stuck behind a rock slide, I inhaled like half a rotisserie chicken while stuck in traffic, for my dinner and it was beyond delicious and super healthy! If you do buy the rotisserie chicken then there is an extra step to this soup."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shares Ghorme Sabzi --Iranian Herb Stew with Kidney Beans and says, "I know the green bobbing on the top looks like green olives, but its actually dried limes.  I showcased it early on in the month In My Kitchen blog post if your interested in seeing what it looks like in dried form.  Its the first time I have used dried limes in cooking which was interesting, they certainly do impart an interesting flavour that I don't think would have been captured by lime zest or even lime juice."

Debra of Eliot's Eats made a gorgeous sandwich with a filling of Guacamole Chicken Salad with Pomegranate inspired by her latest review book. She said, "Chicken salad appears in the novel as a take-out meal that Betsy’s friend brings to her (as Betsy totally spaced on a luncheon date). That chicken salad had grapes and nuts.  I decided to go a bit “off the farm” and make mine a bit different. ... Some friends were recently talking about their recipes for an avocado chicken salad, so I decided that this post would give me the opportunity to try my own recipe. ... The most interesting guacamole I’ve ever had was at Elote in Tulsa and featured pomegranate hence my addition to this mix.  Plus I love the pop of color."

Thanks to all who joined me at Souper Sundays this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on the post you link up to be included.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. What a pretty presentation with the goat cheese! I typically use cream and have found it you get carried away it add too much fat. I don't think that would be a problem with the cheese.

  2. I just linked up with a weird veggie burger, but it was good. Your soup looks classy!

  3. I have a salad this week! Your soup looks great for cool spring evenings.


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