Thursday, March 15, 2012

cream of asparagus soup

Many of my friends know this, but I HATE wasting food. It makes me sick to think about all the food that gets thrown away--after parties, at catering events, stuff people forgot about in the back of their refridgerator, and of course restaurants. I'm not sure if its my time in Africa or the things I've learned in school or what, but I try my darnest to use the groceries I buy before they go moldy. In a way, it kind of becomes a game, some sort of Top Chef challenge--I've got A LOT of cream cheese and sweet potatoes that aren't going to last too much longer--what can I do with them? At the same time, asparagus arrived in my farm box for the first time this week (yay spring!), and I'm itching to make something with it. Plus, its cold and raining out--I want something comforting. What to make?? This thrown-together soup, is the result. Funny enough, it's probably one of the better soups I've made...served with crusty whole grain bread and butter, it made for a satisfying dinner on a chilly Thursday evening.


one large leek
half an extra large sweet potato (or one normal sized sweet potato)
a bunch of asparagus
sprinkle of thyme
one bay leaf
oil (high heat, olive, or whatever you fancy)
chicken stock (or veggie)
cream cheese (I used light)
fresh black pepper

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and get them in the steamer. Meanwhile, saute the leek and garlic in oil (or butter if you prefer), adding the thyme and bay leaf. Once cooked, add the stock (I usually use about two cups but you can adjust depending on how thick you want your soup). Then add asparagus and let asparagus cook in the boiling stock until bright green (a few minutes). Add steamed sweet potatoes. Remove bay leaf. Puree using immersion blender. Once almost done pureeing, add in cream cheese and give final pulse or two. Serve hot, with freshly ground pepper and any other toppings of your choice (croutons would have been nice).

You'll note that I'm not very precise with measurements here--soup, thankfully, does not require the art of precision. Just experiment! I find on a Thursday evening, cooking is less stressful if you're not trying to measure ingredients perfectly and if you instead embrace soup-making as a Jackson Pollock style affair (just throw a bunch of stuff in there and hope for a masterpiece :) ).

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