Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Asparagus and Scallion Soup with Almonds

* 1⁄4 cup sliced almonds, for garnish
* 1 Tbsp. olive oil
* 2 medium leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
* 6 scallions, thinly sliced, 2 reserved for garnish
* 2 cans (14 oz. each) fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
* 1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme, to taste
* Salt and white pepper, to taste
* 1 1⁄2 lb. asparagus (stem ends trimmed), thinly sliced
* 1 can (15 oz.) white beans, such as cannellini, rinsed and drained
* *1 cup evaporated skim milk (optional)

If using garnish, place almonds in saucepan over medium heat. Toast nuts until golden, shaking pan occasionally to prevent burning, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer nuts to paper towel and set aside.

In same pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and 4 chopped scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add broth, thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to boil. Add asparagus and beans.

Bring back to boil, then immediately reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are soft, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Purée soup in blender until smooth. Pour back into saucepan over medium heat. Heat through. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with toasted almonds and remaining scallions.

*For a creamier soup, stir in 1 cup evaporated skim milk after puréeing and pouring back into saucepan. Heat before ladling into serving bowls.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 146 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 24 g carbohydrate,
9 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 304 mg sodium.

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