Thursday, September 24, 2009

Creamy Roasted Asparagus and Gruyere Soup

I've been fighting cold/flu like symptoms for about a week, so a big bowl of soup sounded perfect. I had asparagus in the produce drawer waiting for be used, so creamy asparagus soup it was! I enjoy the taste of steamed asparagus, but my favorite way to prepare asparagus is to roast it. I had a small knob of gruyere in the freezer, and thought the nuttiness from gruyere would play up the nuttiness asparagus develops when roasted. This soup was delicious as a full meal with a chunk of whole grain bread, but also would be a great starter topped with toasted croutons.

Creamy Roasted Asparagus and Gruyere Soup

1 lb. of asparagus spears, trimmed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1 tbps. EVOO
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock, warmed
1/4 cup half and half
4 oz. shredded gruyere cheese
1 tsp. minced tarragon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place asparagus, garlic and onions on a foil lined baking sheet.
Drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and smooth in an even layer.
Roast for 20 minutes, or until asparagus gets a little charred on the tips (depends on how thick your spears are).
Remove from the oven, heat a large soup pot over low.
Add half the asparagus and stock to a blender, whirl until smooth, pour in the soup pot.
Add the remaining asparagus and stock to the blender, puree or leave small chunks, depending on preference, pour into the pot.
*Note: Set aside a few tips for garnish, if desired
Bring the soup to a simmer, add cream, cheese and tarragon.
Stir to incorporate, taste and adjust seasonings.
Ladle into a bowl, serve with crusty bread and an extra sprinkle of gruyere and cracked pepper.

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