The last time I made this soup before Emma’s birthday yesterday was actually at her one month birthday celebration in 2015 when we were still living in New Jersey. I remember everyone raving about the soup but somehow I never made it again. It was one of those forgotten recipes. So when I was planning out the menu for Emma’s 2nd birthday party and the weather here in North Carolina has been warming up, I figured, why not bring back this soup! I was kind of craving it too, plus you wouldn’t believe how easy and super healthy it is!
I don’t usually make soups with a lot of cream in it, so I love getting all my flavor and richness from sautéing or roasting my vegetables before blending them, and by making my own chicken stock for an added layer of flavour. For a gianormous pot of soup that i’d say serves at least 15 people, like 15 BIG bowls, I used 3 tablespoons of cream. That was it. And it was still SO good. If you have a dairy allergy, skip the cream altogether, I really don’t think it was necessary!
Ok so lets get down to the recipe! I hope you enjoy and let me know in the comments or on instagram if you try out this recipe, I would love to see your food pictures and also if you made some changes to it to make it even better! Im not one to follow recipes strictly and tend to make it up as I go so definitely explore and adjust my recipe to fit your taste buds!(:
Asparagus, Leek & Spinach Soup
You will need:
- 2 pounds of asparagus
- 1 large leek
- 2 large yellow onions
- half a package of baby carrots
- 2 big split chicken breast, bone in
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- water enough to fill a large pot covering the chicken breasts
- half a bag of fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Slice off bottom 2 inches of your asparagus and set aside. separate top green part of your leek from the white stem and set aside.
Start by making your chicken stock. Bring water to boil in pot and add chicken breast, baby carrots, garlic cloves, 1 large yellow onion, largely diced, bottom stems of the asparagus, and the green stems of 1 large leek. Season with salt to taste and simmer on medium heat for 20mins then turn down heat and simmer on low for 45mins to an hour. Your chicken stock itself should be well season and taste like yummy chicken soup. So be generous with the salt here!
In a separate saute pan, add 1 large yellow onion diced, finely sliced leeks (white part only), and chopped up asparagus into pan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. You can sprinkle some salt and pepper over your vegetables at this point. On medium heat, saute until vegetables and tender and aromatic.] Usually about 10 to 15minutes. It’s ok if the bottom of the pan browns a little, in fact it’s great as that gives it more flavor. If you are lazy, instead of sauteing on the stove, throw all the vegetables in the oven on a roasting pan and roast for 20minutes at 425F.
When your chicken stock is done, strain out all vegetables and chicken, leaving stock in your stockpot. You can shred up the chicken breast and top your soup with it. I shredded up the chicken breast for my other shrimp salad recipe instead.
Add all sauteed vegetables to your stock pot with the stock and stir, simmering for another 5minutes on low heat. Using an immersion blender or stand up blender, add fresh baby spinach and blend entire soup mixture til smooth and silky. If using a stand up blender, work in smaller batches so your soup doesn’t fly everywhere! and be very careful, put a cloth over the lid and hold it down tight as the steam can get really hot and you don’t want your lid flying off or burn your hand!
Once nicely blended (usually takes a good 1.5 to 2 minutes in the blender on high), pour back into a soup pot.
Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and then finish off with the 3 tbsp of cream if using. For how much sugar you need, it really depends on how flavorful the yellow onions you used are. So just adjust accordingly.
*tip. If making ahead, don’t add the cream until the day you are serving the soup.
You can only serve the soup with Italian bread sticks like I did.