Asparagus Walnut Bisque

Asparagus Walnut Bisque

Vegetarian asparagus soup with hearty walnuts makes a vibrant colored soup that no one will be able to resist. This is the perfect soup to enjoy on a cool spring evening. Made with vegetable stock rather than cream, this dish will not weigh you down. 

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch asparagus (1 – 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 leek, thoroughly washed
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup chopped California walnuts
  • 1 bottle (750 ml.) Chardonnay wine
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Remove and discard any tough, woody ends from the asparagus spears, then cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Blanch in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 4 minutes, until just tender, then drain well in a colander. Run cold water over the asparagus to cool it, then set aside to drain while you continue.
  2. Thinly slice the white and tender green parts of the leek. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the sliced leeks, and cook gently, covered, for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add the rice, walnuts and wine, then boil over moderately high heat until the wine has reduced to about 1/2 cup. (As a clue, at this point the reduced wine will not quite cover the solid ingredients.)
  3. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Add the cooked asparagus and stir for a moment. Puree the soup, using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor, until it looks very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The soup may be made ahead and reheated.