Curried Asparagus & Ham Soup

Spring 2018
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food and drink

BY: Monda Rosenberg

Pea soup and ham is a much-loved combo and a smart use of leftover ham. To give it a spring vibe, we’ve added fresh asparagus, with a touch of curry for brightness. Add whatever shape of ham pieces you wish—just be sure they are bite-sized. Since this soup is good both hot and cold, it works for the new season whether it comes in as a lion or a lamb.

1 lb (500 g) bunch of green asparagus, woody ends removed
1½ cups (375 mL) diced peeled potatoes
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) dried tarragon
1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) curry powder
1 container (900 mL) chicken broth
½ cup (125 mL) sour cream (optional)
2 cups (500 mL) ham pieces
Pumpernickel croutons (recipe below)

1 Slice asparagus into 1-inch (2.5-cm) lengths. Place in a large saucepan with potatoes, peas, green onions, tarragon, curry powder and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Then lower heat and boil gently, covered, until potatoes are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

2 Purée in batches in a food processor, adding sour cream, if desired, to the last batch. Return soup to saucepan along with ham and gently warm through. Serve scattered with Pumpernickel Croutons.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)


PUMPERNICKEL CROUTONS
Brush 2 slices of pumpernickel bread with olive oil. Cut into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven, turning once, partway through, until pieces are toasted, about 10 minutes.

Makes 2 cups (500 mL)