[So today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Tracy Prather, a great friend and fellow home gardener. She will be gracing us with some of her delicious recipes from time to time…and today’s Creamy Asparagus & Roasted Artichoke Soup is the first. I wouldn’t be surprised if her healthy recipes inspired you to both to start your own veggie garden and throw a dinner party – two of the best ways to “redeem your ground”! Thanks Tracy!]
Hey y’all, thanks for letting me share my recipe with you. I hope you give it a try and above all enjoy. It’s that time of year, when we are longing for sunny days and temperatures in the 70s and Mother Nature teases us. If you are like me, spring cannot come fast enough. I am always looking for ways to make the brown drab days a little brighter and craving all those fresh foods straight out of the garden.
Fret not; there are some wonderful fresh veggies in season all the time that can tide you over. Artichokes and asparagus just happen to be on the list right now. Coincidentally, I have a recipe to share using both. And please, do not fear the artichoke; they are not as complicated as you may think. You could use prepared artichokes if you wanted to but believe me, roasting them is worth the minimal effort! Well, maybe a touch more than minimal if it is your first time.
Without further ado, I give you…Creamy Asparagus and Roasted Artichoke Soup.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white part only, washed well and chopped
- 2 whole artichokes
- Bunch of asparagus cut into 1” pieces
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I use low sodium organic)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, plus 2 tablespoons at the end
- Plus (for roasting artichokes):
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Using kitchen shears snip the tops of the outer artichoke leaves. Melt butter for roasting and add garlic, oil and lemon juice. With a sharp knife cut artichokes in half. Remove the choke and purple leaves with a paring knife and spoon on melted butter mixture making sure to get in-between the leaves and place face down in an over safe dish. Cover with foil and roast for 25-30 minutes.
- While the artichokes are becoming amazing, wash and cut asparagus and leeks. When cutting the leeks slice lengthwise and run under cool water making sure there is nothing nasty caught inside.
- Check to see if the artichokes are done by inserting a knife into the largest part, if it goes in easily, they are done.When they are done simply set them aside to cool.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, sprinkle a little salt and pepper in there and stir occasionally until translucent, about 5 min. Stir in garlic and let it cook for another minute. Add stock and asparagus and hit it with a little more S&P. Cover and let simmer over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and again.
- The artichokes have likely cooled now so get those shears back out and cut away everything but the tender leaves and bottoms. Chop up all that tender goodness and put it into your pot. Your asparagus should be nice and tender now, if not give it a few more minutes.
- Using a handheld immersion blender, or in a blender in batches, puree the soup. Add 1/3 cup of mascarpone cheese and blend to combine.
- Give it a taste test and add S&P to your liking. I would go ahead and serve it with a little dollop of mascarpone and Voila!
If it happens to be one of those spring teaser days, I highly recommend sitting on the deck and savoring every minute of it whilst savoring every bite! Pair with your favorite wine and dare to dream of days to come when you can enjoy dining al fresco more often.
Alright, you’ve inspired me…I’m both hungry and wanting to add asparagus and artichokes to my garden next go’round. Thanks so much Tracy!
What asparagus or artichoke recipes do you have? What other late winter / early spring recipes do you have? Please share!