Cream of Asparagus and Potato Soup with Fresh Croutons
Asparagus is the star in this smooth, creamy, and decadent soup, making it a spring time favorite. If your kiddos have never tried aspargus before, this is a great introduction because the croutons make it fun and interactive (you can even pretend they are boats!).
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
- 2 russet potatoes about 1 lb., peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces, baking
- 1 lb. asparagus trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety)
- 1 tsp. dried tarragon or use 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped
- 1 baguette (use wheat/gluten free, if needed) use 1/2 for croutons and reserve 1/2 for serving
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter and 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, add the garlic and stir it for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant. Add the potatoes and asparagus, and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the broth and dried tarragon (if using fresh tarragon, add it with the salt and pepper) and bring it to a low boil and then simmer it, stirring often, for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Meanwhile, to make the croutons, cut half of the baguette into thin rounds and lay them on a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, brush the tops of the slices with the remaining oil and bake them for about 10 minutes until they are crisp and just starting to brown at the edges.
- Remove them from the oven and set them aside. (Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and heat the remainder of the baguette, if you are serving it.)
- Add the salt and pepper to the soup and puree it using a standing or immersion blender. Stir in the half and half or cream. Serve the soup immediately with the croutons or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Add all ingredients (just use 1 Tbsp. of oil) except the baguette and half and half or cream to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 - 12 hours or on high for 4 - 6 hours. Puree the soup as directed, and return it to the slow cooker if you used a standing blender. Add the half and half or cream, stir well, and cook on low for up to 30 more minutes while you prepare the croutons. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Peel the garlic, peel and dice the potatoes and store submerged in water (for up to 24 hours) to prevent browning, trim and cut the asparagus, chop the tarragon if using fresh, prepare the croutons, or fully prepare and refrigerate the soup. Scramble Flavor Booster: Season the soup with freshly ground black pepper or lemon pepper seasoning. For a meatier meal, stir some crisp crumbled bacon into the soup. Tip: If you have bread that is getting stale, croutons, like the ones in this recipe, are an ideal way to keep it from going to waste. Another option is to pulverize day-old bread in a food processor to make bread crumbs. See here for additional creative ways to make bread crumbs. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 320, Total Fat: 13g, 19%; Saturated Fat: 4g, 20%; Cholesterol: 10mg, 3.5%; Sodium: 567mg, 23%; Total Carbohydrate: 43g, 15%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 18.5%; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 10g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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