Asparagus Soup with Cheese Croutons

"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

Yield: 8 servings
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 86
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 2.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g
  • Protein: 4.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 11.9g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg
  • Iron: 0.9mg
  • Sodium: 234mg
  • Calcium: 64mg

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Cooking spray
  • 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

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat broiler.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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