The tips of the fresh asparagus in this recipe are reserved to use as garnish with this pureed soup made with leeks and white rice cooked in broth or water.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings):
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 leek, sliced
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
- 1 to taste salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a large stockpot, combine the water or stock, asparagus ends and separated leek greens. Heat over low heat and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a medium saute pan, heat the butter and oil. Add the leek 'whites', onion and rice and cook until the onion begins to color (about 8 minutes). Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook 10 more minutes.
Strain the stock of the asparagus and leek ends and return to the stockpot. Add the contents of the saute pan to the strained stock along with the asparagus middles and partially cover the pot. Cook 12 more minutes.
Transfer soup to a food processor and puree. Strain this back into the stockpot. Season and add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Meanwhile, drop the asparagus tips into boiling salted water and cook until tender (about 4 minutes). Serve the soup with a few asparagus tips on top for garnish.