Grilled Asparagus Soup with Brie Toast

Asparagus is my favorite vegetable.

When I was a kid, we never, ever had asparagus on our table. My father grew up next to an asparagus farmer during the Great Depression (my Dad is nearly 91). According to my Pop, he had asparagus for breakfast, lunch and dinner all Spring long–and well, he hasn’t had a spear in 60 years.

I, on the other hand, love Asparagus–on its own in, in a salad and of course, in soup! Jersey asparagus is in-season now. I found some at Duffields last week. It is so great grilled–and you can grill one enormous batch and use it in recipes all week long. Eat on the side, pop it on a pizza and use some to make this yummy Spring soup, perfect for rainy days.

I started with a homemade veggie broth base–this time around it included leek tops, asparagus bottoms, leftover sliced tomatoes, red onion garlic, parsley stems, salt pepper, bay leaves zucchini ends and other odds and ends from my produce drawer. You can use any store bought veggie broth or even chicken broth. I would just stay away from any broth that is tomato based–I think it messes with the natural asparagus flavor.

The stuff:
2 leeks, just the light green and white parts, quartered and sliced thin
1 shallot diced
2 cloves garlic diced
3 T. butter
1 T. olive
1-2 lbs of grilled asparagus, tips cut off and reserved. Stems, diced.
6 cups broth of your choice
1 cup heavy cream

For the brie toast:
Six 1/2 slices from a fresh baguette
Six 1/4 inch slices of brie

Get to work:

1. Butter 3 T butter into 1 T olive oil
2. Add shallot and garlic, cook until soft over medium heat, about 5 minutes.
3. Add bottoms from grilled asparagus. Cook 1 minute, until warmed through
4. Add broth. Bring to a boil, simmer 15 minutes.
5. While soup is simmering, preheat your broiler.
6. Place baguette, with one piece of brie on each slice under broiler. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until cheese melts and edges of bread are browned.
7. Season soup with salt and pepper. Stir in heavy cream.
6. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth.
8. Stir in reserved asparagus tips.
9. Serve immediately with brie toast on top. 


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