Creamy Asparagus-and-Ham Soup
SERVES 4 PREP 15 MIN COOK 25 MIN
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces boneless ham steak, cut
into ¼-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 ½-inch cubes
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1½ bunches asparagus (about
1½ pounds), cut into ½-inch
One 6-ounce container plain yogurt
¼ whole wheat country loaf, for
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 ½ 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 ½ 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.