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Grilled Asparagus Soup with Chile Croutons

  • Makes: 4 servings
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Grill: 4 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  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.

QUICK BLANCHING

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 ,
  • 13 g fat
  • (8 g sat. fat ,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
  • 3 g monounsaturated fat ),
  • 33 mg chol. ,
  • 1029 mg sodium ,
  • 38 g carb. ,
  • 4 g fiber ,
  • 7 g sugar ,
  • 11 g pro.

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