This bright, healthy spring soup gets a zesty boost from citrusy sorrel leaves and fresh lemon, and an herbaceous crunch from the croutons. And let’s face it: You’re eating a big bowl of veggies, so it could use a refreshingly decadent swirl of lemon crema! Serves 4 to 6.
FOR THE CROUTONS:
1/4 pound day-old bread, crust removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves (use 2 tbsp if dried)
2 tbsp garlic, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
FOR THE SOUP:
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large leek (white and pale green parts), chopped (or substitute a large, sweet onion)
2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups loosely packed fresh sorrel leaves, chopped (or substitute spinach)
4 to 6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
Garnish: 1/4 cup lemon crema (see recipe at end of article) and several twists fresh lemon peel
Toss crouton ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden, turning once, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Toss asparagus, leek and shallots in oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400-degree oven until soft, about 40 minutes, stirring a few times.
While the veggies are roasting, heat butter on medium-high, then sauté the sorrel (or spinach) for a couple minutes, and set aside.
Working in small batches, combine all the soup ingredients in a blender. Add about a cup of stock along with each cup of veggies. If you want an incredibly silky texture, you can press the soup through a food mill or strainer at this time. Return the soup to the pan, and add more stock if you prefer a thinner soup.
Warm the soup over medium heat. Ladle into bowls and top with a few croutons, a swirl of lemon crema and a lemon twist.