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.