When picking a soup to revisit this month, I went back four years to Giada De Laurentiis's Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese. This is a great spring soup, making the most of fresh asparagus and basil with tangy, herby goat cheese on top.
Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network
(Makes 4 to 6 Servings --1/2 cup)
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.
My Notes: 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.
We have some great friends and dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!
I'll highlight their dishes below and open the link up for a couple of weeks so feel free to add a soup, salad or sandwich creation and I'll highlight them in two weeks.
Debra of Eliot's Eats shared the Sweet and Spicy Balsamic Vinaigrette she made for our last Cooks the Books round, saying "As Nate lunches with other CIA employees, there’s a simple salad dressing that just spoke to me. ... I agree with Nate’s description of this recipe: “The dressing had a balsamic sweetness cut with Dijon and a hint of heat, unlike any vinaigrette he had ever tasted” (261). ... The salad I created had bits and pieces of things from the veggie drawer—shaved Brussels sprouts, shaved radicchio, some baby kale and some chard cut into ribbons. (The last two ingredients came from the greenhouse, the first two from last week’s farm bag.) I added some red quinoa that I also had precooked in the fridge, some hard boiled eggs, and a bit of smoked goat cheese. Loved it!" Another salad she shared saying, "Does your family love potato salad? Want a delicious yet easy-to-make potato salad? Mary's Potato Salad is the potato salad of my youth, with potatoes, eggs, onions, pickles, celery, and a delicious mustard dressing. Now made even easier with the help of your electric pressure cooker..."
Thank you friends for joining me, even when it has been so sporadic!
If you'd like to join in Souper Sundays, I am opening up the below link for two weeks while I try to finish deciding what my go-forward looks like.
Anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the two weeks and I will post a recap of the entries on Sunday in two weeks.)
(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
To join in this week'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.
On your entry post (on your blog):
- please mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchenand link back to this post.
- you are welcome to add the wonderful Souper Sundays logo (created by Ivy at Kopiaste) to your post and/or blog (optional).
Have a happy, healthy week!