"Green peppercorns have a clean, mild flavor that goes well with fresh vegetables, and they blend nicely with the soup." --Chris Pancerella Gayman, Carlisle, PA
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
8 (1/2-ounce) slices French bread
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Gouda cheese
1/4 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground green peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
How to Make It
Place chicken broth and asparagus in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Cook 8 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Remove from heat.
Heat butter and olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced shiitake mushrooms to pan; cook 3 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown. Set aside.
Place bread on a baking sheet covered with foil; coat bread with cooking spray. Broil 2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn bread over, and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese bubbles.
Pour asparagus mixture into a blender. Add rice, peppercorns, and salt; puree until smooth. Ladle 1/2 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top evenly with mushrooms. Top each serving with 1 crouton.