Creamy Asparagus-and-Ham Soup

April 2011
Creamy Asparagus-and-Ham Soup

by 7 people

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Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 15 mins

Cook: 25 mins

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces boneless ham steak, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 small red-skinned potatoes (4 to 5 ounces total), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 bunches  asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 6 ounce container  plain yogurt
  • 1/4 whole wheat country loaf, for serving
  1. In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat; add the ham and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ham to a plate. Add the leek and garlic to the pot and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and chicken broth and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Scoop out 1/2 cup asparagus pieces and set aside for garnish. Using a blender and working in batches, puree the soup. Return the soup to the pot, whisk in the yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle the ham and asparagus pieces on top and serve with the bread.
  • Cook a handful of ham with the asparagus and potatoes and puree along with the vegetables for a meatier soup.
  • Blanch 1/2 cup asparagus tips in a pan of boiling, salted water to keep them a vibrant green for the garnish.
  • Make extra soup and pack it for lunch.