Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Leek, Asparagus and Herb Soup

Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each

1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb sweet potato, scrubbed and diced (about 1 2/3 cups)
2 C vegetable broth
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 1/2-2 cups)
2/3 C snow peas or sugar snap peas, stemmed and cut into 1/2-in dice
3 T chopped fresh chives, divided
2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 T chopped fresh dill
2 tsp chopped fresh chervil (see Ingredient note) or flat-leaf parsley
2 C almond milk
1 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp brown sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Add potatoes and broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in asparagus and peas; simmer, covered, stirring 2 or 3 times, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon chives, parsley, dill and chopped chervil (or parsley). Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)

4. Return the soup to the pan. Add milk and bring to just below a simmer, stirring, over medium heat. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of the remaining chopped chives and a sprig of chervil (or parsley).

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 132 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 7 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 2 g fiber; 195 mg sodium.Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (33% daily value).

TIP: Ingredient Note: Chervil (from the Greek for "herb of rejoicing") has a mild flavor between those of parsley and anise. It doesn't dry well, so is best used fresh.

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