Healthy Lower Calorie Cream of Asparagus Soup:

Here at StoneGable our Asparagus beds are working overtime! The amusing and amazing thing about asparagus is how quickly it grows. It can grow inches in one day. So we are daily cutting fresh stalks for our dinner table. 

My very favorite way to eat this delectable spring vegetable is roasted. And it is so easy.

Roasted Asparagus:
Put washed asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Pop it into a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. And there it is... all delicious, lightly carmelized and tender crisp.  I like to add a little lemon juice and zest or a sprinkle of shaved parmesan or cheddar cheese. Yummy!

This year I wanted to make Cream of Asparagus Soup. I love the taste of smooth rich cream soups but am not too excited about all the extra fat and calories a true cream soup would have. 

My search for a suitable lo-cal substitute  fell flat. I could not find one that was thick enough and discovered that without the fat in the cream the skinny soup did not have enough richness. I did find a couple of recipes using cottage cheese in place of cream, and I knew I was onto something. Taking from the best of many recipes I came up with one that I felt had the richness of a cream soup with some depth and complexity.

I hope you will try this semi guiltless cream soup!

StoneGable Cream of Asparagus Soup:
1 TBS olive oil
3 lbs asparagus, washed, woody end removed and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 large leeks, white and light green parts rinsed well and chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
7 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
2 cups low fat cottage cheese
1 cup fat free sour cream

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot add asparagus, leeks and onion. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring ocassionally.

Add chicken stock, salt and pepper and potatoes to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add cottage cheese and sour cream.

Blend until smooth with an emulsifying blender OR put soup in batches in a blender and blend until smooth.

I garnish the soup with a little grated cheddar and some crisp fried pancetta.

This recipe makes a big batch of soup for you to enjoy!

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