Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

PalmaBella's Soup

The Slow Soupers soup of the week is from my friend Palma. We were all excited to see what Palma picked, she is a fabulous Italian cook. She didn't disappoint us... a warm soup of leeks and asparagus topped with crumbled amaretti cookies.

For those who may not recognize 'amaretti', these are cookies with the nutty flavor of amaretto in each bite. The best in the world are from Italy in the fine paper wrappers. I was lucky enough to find a suitable substitute for the real thing.
Leek and Asparagus Soup with Fried Leeks and Crushed Amaretti

This is a Roman dish, traditionally served at Easter time. The recipe is from A Cook’s Tour of Italy by Joe Famularo.

3-4 leeks, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 T. butter
2 c. peeled, diced potatoes
1 bunch asparagus, tender parts only, cut into 1 “ pieces
1 ½ quarts chicken broth (6 cups)
seasalt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup half & half
butter or olive oil for frying leeks for garnish
4 Amaretti cookies, crumbled, or grated

*optional: 2-3 oz. chopped, cooked pancetta. This is not part of the original recipe, but it DOES make Brad think this soup can be dinner!

Cut leeks in half and wash well, separating the leaves with your fingers while running them under cool water to remove any sand. Drain the leeks and cut them crosswise into thin slices. Reserve about ¼ c. of leeks for frying.

In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauté leeks lightly. Add potato cubes and sauté about 4 minutes. Add asparagus, broth and some salt and pepper. If using pancetta, add it now. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Put mixture through a food mill, sieve, or use a blender or emersion blender. Return to saucepan and add half & half. Simmer until mixture is warmed.

To serve, heat some oil or butter in a small saucepan, and fry leeks until crisp. Ladle the soup into warm bowls, sprinkle with crumbled amaretti in the center, and top with some crisp leeks.

* Don't skip the toppings! They are wonderful with the soup!

This soup was really yummy. The leeks and potatoes helped tone down the bite of the asparagus. You can see I didn't peel my potatoes, so the color of my soup was not as bright green as some of the others. Amaretti crumbled on anything is amazing.

Y'all enjoy!



The Cottage In The Curve said...

I was reading about your leek soup and John walked in and wanted to know if that's what I was cooking today. He loves leeks. I told him no we are having stuffed peppers.

Deborah said...

Sandi, your soup turned out such a beautiful shade of green. Mine was a bit more yellow. I think because all I had was Yukon gold potatoes. Still delicious!
Love your hat picture.

justabeachkat said...

Gosh, I wish I wish I was your neighbor so I could be your "tester". That really looks yummy.


joan said...

This sounds really good, especially here today when it's cold and dreary.

Darius T. Williams said...

Hmmm - now here's a combo that I'd LOVE to try!

Anonymous said...

Your soup looks delicious! I enjoyed the low-fat version of the recipe.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Cottage~ you could make some soup for John tomorrow.
Deborah~ It is a pretty green (if green soup could be pretty)
Kat~ you could because Bill is totally 'done' with the soups.
Joan~ perfect for a cold and dreary day
DaruisT~ you've been busy with your demos!
jerry~ I need the low fat version!

justabeachkat said...

Stop by when you get a chance. I've passed along an award to you sweet "B" friend. I'm also asking for some advice.


Anonymous said...

Sandi, this soup looks amazing. I bet the taste was delicious! Love the color.
Barb Cabot

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I would never have though to crumble amaretti cookies on soup! Nice idea!

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