GCC: Cream Asparagus Tarragon Soup and Poach Egg

This week is the first week of another Gutsy Cook line up.  The month of June belongs to Raymond from Your Just Desserts and boy did he bring it with his choices this month – I cannot wait to cook it up in the next 4 weeks.

I love, love asparagus, its actually one of my favorite vegetables and my preferred way to eat them is cooked until crisp-tender then tossed in olive oil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and topped with a poach egg.

If that is not comfort food at its best, I don’t know what is.

When it comes to soup, anything that is cream of anything is my go-to choice.  So, once I ready this choice I knew what I had to do to make this fantastically simple asparagus soup a gutsy soup – poach and egg and top it with that along with some crispy cheese bread slices.

The poached egg and the toast makes the whole dish for me, but you don’t have to serve the soup with them, instead you can top with sour cream, or turn it into a cold soup with a couple of cantaloupe balls and a sprinkle of lemon to make it a refreshing choice on really hot days.

This was a hit all around.

Adapted from “The Celebrate Cookbook” by Sheila Lukins
Serves 4 

  • 1 large leek, including 2 inches of the green
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces
  • ⅓ to ½ cup heavy cream 


  • 4 poached eggs & toasted bread
  • 12 small cantaloupe balls (garnish, optional)
  • 16 small fresh mint leaves (garnish, optional)
  • ½ cup sour cream (garnish, optional) 

Trim the root and tough outer leaves from the leek.  Cut the leek in half lengthwise.  Stir the vinegar into a bowl of cold water, add the leek and let soak for 30 minutes to remove any sand.  Then rinse the leek under running water, pat dry and cut into ¼ inch dice.

Melt the butter in the olive oil in a heavy pot over low heat.  Add the leek, onion and parsnip and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and tarragon and bring to a boil over high heat.  Then add the asparagus, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the asparagus is very tender, 30 minutes.  Uncover and allow to cool to room temperature. 

Puree the soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor. (If the pureed soup seems stringy, pass it through a strainer.)  Return the soup to the pot, stir in the cream, and reheat over low heat.  Do not boil.  Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with melon balls, mint and sour cream or topped with a poach eggs and some toasted bread.

Note:  The soup may also be served cold.  Chill it after adding the cream.

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