Asparagus and Wild Rice Soup with Caramelized Leeks

Wild rice soup with caramelized leeks

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Asparagus is rich in zinc and has been considered an aphrodisiac for centuries. It was served in royal courts of Europe in the 1500s. Asparagus was grown solely for nobilities, and was said to be Louis XIV’s favorite. Lucky for us simple folks, we can now enjoy this healthy and refreshing soup at home this Lenten season.

Prep Time: 3 Hours

Yields: 4–6 Servings

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh asparagus

1 cup long grain wild rice, cooked

4 small leeks, trimmed

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled

¼ cup unsalted butter

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp chopped tarragon

salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

Method:

Trim and remove bottom 2-inches of asparagus, reserving trimmings. Cut trimmed asparagus into 1-inch pieces and set aside separately. Cut leeks in half lengthwise and wash well. Chop green part of leeks into 2-inch pieces then set aside and reserve for stock. Thinly slice white part of leeks then set aside and reserve for soup. In a medium stockpot, bring 3 quarts water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add reserved asparagus trimmings, leek greens, onion, celery, carrots and garlic cloves. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and strain stock through a sieve, pushing down on solids to extract all liquid. Set stock aside, discarding solids. In a large saucepot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add leek whites and sauté 5–7 minutes or until caramelized, stirring often. Add asparagus and cook 3–5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add 1½ quarts reserved asparagus stock and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Add cooked rice, lemon juice and tarragon then return to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste using salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Serve hot.

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