This soup didn’t start out too well. It just didn’t look like it was coming together at all. I was planning Meal B in my head! Toby’s train was late getting home (thanks to a presidential motorcade!), so this soup had to sit on the stove for a while. And it really thickened up. It kind of became, well, asparagus risotto! And it was really good! I made a couple of changes. When adding the 5 quarts of water, I realized my pot was too small, so I only added 2.5 quarts. Then, when tasting the soup, it seemed a little bland, so I added in maybe 1 cup of (veggie) chicken stock. And I used shredded Gruyere on top instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano. This just had a great flavor and I ate it for lunch the next day as well. It was even better then.
(Country Living, May 2009)
4 clove(s) Garlic, crushed and peeled
1/3 cup(s) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil plus 2 tablespoon(s)
2 cup(s) Russet Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 cup(s) Leeks, chopped, 1/4 inch of white and all green parts
2 Bay Leaves
1 tablespoon(s) Coarse Sea Salt Or Kosher Salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2 pound(s) Fresh Asparagus, cut into 1/3-inch chunks, plus more spears for garnish
1 cup(s) Arborio Rice Freshly Ground Pepper, To Taste
1/2 cup(s) Grated Grana Padano Or Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to taste (I used gruyere)
Sauté garlic with 1/3 cup olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, 6-quart pot over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until crusty but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add leeks and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add 5 quarts water, bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir well, scraping potatoes from pot bottom. Cover, bring to a boil, and add cut asparagus. Lower heat to vigorous simmer and cook, uncovered, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until reduced by a third.
Add rice, bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with pepper and more salt to taste. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 cup grated cheese. If desired, steam remaining asparagus and garnish. Serve hot.
per serving: 298 calories