Friday, April 20, 2012

Spring Lily Soup

Unless you have a greenhouse, there isn't much in the way of spring gardening here in the mountains. May 31 is considered the beginning of the safe zone for planting outside without the chance of frost or even snow. Of course many people take the risk and plant sooner. I've done it myself plenty of times. I've also had to pull up frost-bitten and wilted little plants and start over. Today was one of those days that can seduce you to throw caution to the wind. The sun was high in sky and it approached 80 degrees. Surely winter is behind us. Surely this warmth will continue...... Beginning with June we are then favored with four frost-free months before the possibility of it returns. It is a short growing season but it does get quite warm, so a productive summer garden is achievable. 

Green String Farm in Petaluma, Ca, had super-fresh baby leeks when I stopped by last week on my way back to Quincy from a Sonoma County visit. And then at Tony's, between Marysville and Oroville, I loaded up on fat fresh asparagus from their garden because ours doesn't make an appearance until early June! I made a blended (I'm into those lately) spring soup out of the leeks, a few of the asparagus, and whatever else I could find in the fridge. It was delicious so I will share what I did in case someone wants to try something similar. I am not a very exacting cook so it is a challenge to try to capture a thrown together soup but I scribbled as I went. I went a bit heavy on the butter for richness because my belly currently seems to tolerate it better than, say, cream.

Spring Lily Soup 
a couple large or a half dozen small leeks
1 medium onion
10 asparagus
3 yellow potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
6 mushrooms (optional)
1/2 t. crushed dried or chopped fresh thyme
1/2 t. crushed dried or chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 c. white wine
3 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
3 c. chicken or vegetable broth (or water and bouillon cube)

Melt butter with olive oil over medium heat in a heavy soup pot. Add chopped leeks, onions, asparagus, garlic, and mushrooms. Add the herbs. Saute until tender; about 8 to 10 minutes. Deglaze pan with the wine and cook a few more minutes. Add broth (or water and bouillon) and peeled potato chunks and a few sprinkles of salt and simmer until the potatoes are tender; about 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree in food processor. Return to soup pot. Taste. Add a few more sprinkles of salt if needed. Serve plain or with chopped chives and crumbled bacon or with a fried egg as I did.

Serves 4ish.

A trick my dad taught me - instead of breaking off the tough ends
of the asparagus, you can peel them.



  1. Looks and sounds yummy. I will use this recipe and the trick your dad taught you as well. Great ingredients.