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.