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Asparagus Leek Soup

1 1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed (reserve trimmings) and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
1 leek, well rinsed to remove sand and sliced with greens and whites separate
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
Salt to taste
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional

In a pot, bring 6 cups water, asparagus trimmings and leek greens to a simmer while preparing the rest of the ingredients. In a skillet pan, heat the oil and butter. Add the leek whites, onion and rice and cook until the onion begins to color. Using a ladle, add 1 cup of warm asparagus-leek stock to vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Strain the asparagus-leek stock and return to pot. Add vegetables and uncooked asparagus to stock. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 to 12 minutes. When soup has cooled, transfer to food processor and puree. Strain back into the stockpot. Season and add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Drop the asparagus tips into boiling salted water and cook until tender. Garnish soup with asparagus tips.

6-8 servings
Westside Market

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