Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chile Croutons
- Preheat grill or grill pan to medium heat. For chili butter, in a large bowl stir together melted butter and chili sauce. Brush one side of each baguette slice with some of the chili-butter. Grill bread for 2 minutes, until toasted and crisp, turning once. Set aside.
- Add asparagus to remaining chili-butter; toss to coat (butter may firm up). Grill spears on grill pan over medium heat or grill rack over direct medium heat, covered, about 2 minutes, turning once. Remove from pan or grill. Set aside one-fourth of the spears to stir into finished soup. Slice remaining spears in 1/2-inch rounds; set aside.
- For soup, in a large saucepan melt the 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Cook onion in hot butter for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened. Add salt. Sprinkle flour on onions; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the coriander. Slowly whisk in chicken broth. Add 1/2-inch asparagus rounds. Bring soup to simmering. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
- Transfer cooled soup to a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary. Puree soup until smooth. Return pureed soup to saucepan. Stir in milk and heat through. Cut the reserved asparagus spears in 2-inch lengths. Add to soup along with lemon juice. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with freshly grated nutmeg, additional lemon juice, and chili croutons.
From the Test Kitchen
If you prefer asparagus more tender, grill it 2 minutes longer. The soup will be a bit darker than shown in the photo.
No time to grill? Quickly blanch the spears (see QUICK BLANCHING below) and toast baguette slices under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes each side.
To serve asparagus quickly, place spears in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Cover with about 2 cups of boiling salted water. Let stand for 10 to 12 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender. Drain, then serve warm.
Nutrition Facts (Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chile Croutons)
- Per serving:
- 310 kcal cal.,
- 13 g fat
- (8 g sat. fat,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
- 3 g monounsatured fat),
- 33 mg chol.,
- 1029 mg sodium,
- 38 g carb.,
- 4 g fiber,
- 7 g sugar,
- 11 g pro.
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet