Asparagus and Brie Soup is always a treat. It's considered "delicate" and "posh" and other fancy things. The flavors blend well and I discovered that it's fairy easy to make. Most recipes I found are pretty much just asparagus and brie - with some stock, cream and flour added. No onion, or any aromatics - a couple recipes did include garlic. While I was in the grocery store today I noticed asparagus was insanely cheap and I decided to try my hand at a variation of this soup. I wanted something that had a bolder and in-your-face flavor compared to what I was reading about online. I got even more inspiration when I found a container of "smoked bourbon" brie also on sale. I decided that today I'm gonna put the cookbooks aside and wing this thing.
When I got home I realized I didn't have brie, but Creme de Brie. It is creamier and more spreadable. I figured this would make the step of melting the brie into the soup easier as well as replacing any milk or heavy cream I might decide to add.
Asparagus & Bourbon-Brie Soup
1/3 cups (or more) of unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped (2 inch pieces)
1 stalk celery, chopped (2 inch pieces)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped (2 inch pieces)
1 bunch asparagus*, bottom white end removed, chopped (2 inch pieces) and separate the tips for later
1 tablespoon flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo Pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable stock
1 five ounce container of Creme de Brie
*Note: I also had a small head of broccoli leftover from last week's trip to the local Farmer's Market. I figured I'd use it before it went bad for some extra "oomph" I cut the ends into tiny florets and put them with the asparagus tips. I chopped up the "meat" part of the broccoli and put that with the stalks of asparagus.
- Over medium high heat melt that butter in a large pot. (Add a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to help prevent burning the butter). Turn heat down a little and cook down to just before the butter turns brown. Add the onion, celery and carrot and stir. Salt and pepper a little. Increase heat slightly and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the asparagus (and broccoli) stalks. NOT THE TIPS. Stir, salt and pepper. Cook another 10 minutes.
- Stir in the flour, Herbes de Provence, Aleppo, garlic and bay leaf. Cook for one minute to unlock the aromatics.
- Stir in the vegetable stock in batches, making sure there are no clumps from the flour. Bring to boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While this is simmering: turn your oven's broiler on and adjust the rack to be about 8 inches away from the heat. Place the asparagus tips and broccoli florets onto a greased, foil lined baking sheet and broil for about 4-6 minutes; removing just as the ends start to brown (but they aren't over cooked). Remove from broiler and let cool on baking sheet.
- Remove the soup from heat and discard the bay leaf.
- Using a hand held emulsion blender puree the soup.
- While the soup is still relatively hot add 4 ounces of the brie in half once spoonfuls, stirring after the second and fourth to dissolve the brie into the soup. Add the spear tips and, if using, broccoli florets.
- Serve hot, garnishing each bowl with a small dollop of the remaining Creme de Brie. Crusty bread is nice too!