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Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chili Croutons

Makes: 4 servings
Prep 10 mins Grill 4 mins Cook 15 mins
Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chile Croutons
  • 1/4  cup  butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 - 2  tablespoons  Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 1  small  baguette, sliced diagonally
  • 2  pounds  green, white, and/or purple asparagus, trimmed
  • 2  tablespoons  butter
  • 1  small  onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 2 14 1/2 ounce cans  reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  cup  milk
  • 1  tablespoon  lemon juice
  •  Olive oil (optional)
  •  Freshly grated nutmeg and lemon juice (optional)

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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)
  • Servings Per Recipe 4,
  • cal. (kcal) 310,
  • Fat, total (g) 13,
  • chol. (mg) 33,
  • sat. fat (g) 8,
  • carb. (g) 38,
  • Monounsaturated fat (g) 3,
  • Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1,
  • Trans fatty acid (g) 1,
  • fiber (g) 4,
  • sugar (g) 7,
  • pro. (g) 11,
  • vit. A (IU) 1312,
  • vit. C (mg) 10,
  • Thiamin (mg) 0,
  • Riboflavin (mg) 0,
  • Niacin (mg) 4,
  • Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0,
  • Folate (g) 145,
  • Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 0,
  • sodium (mg) 1029,
  • Potassium (mg) 384,
  • calcium (mg) 91,
  • iron (mg) 5,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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