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Green Light: Asparagus

March 28, 2001|ROSE DOSTI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

DEAR SOS: Several months ago we ate at Suzanne's Cuisine in Ojai and had their absolutely delicious asparagus soup. I am hoping you can obtain a recipe.

SUSAN CARTER

Camarillo

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DEAR SUSAN: Suzanne's Cuisine grows its own asparagus and suggests making the soup (as the restaurant does) during the early summer, when asparagus is at its peak. Winter varieties are fine, too, but tend to be less flavorful. Another interesting thing about this soup is that no cream or egg yolks are used in the recipe.

Suzanne's Cuisine Asparagus Soup

Active Work Time: 50 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 large onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano

3 pounds asparagus (tough stems removed), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, minced

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

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Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, basil and oregano and cook them until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the asparagus and leeks and cook 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the salt and pepper, partially cover the pan, and simmer the soup until the asparagus and leeks are very soft, 45 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender in batches. Serve hot or chilled in soup bowls.

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6 servings. Each serving: 192 calories; 1,721 mg sodium; 3 grams saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams protein; 6.08 grams fiber.

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Plates from Joan Chase Showroom at the L.A. Mart.

Send requests to Culinary SOS, Food Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 or e-mail to food@latimes.com. Please include your last name and city of residence for publication. Include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. We are unable to answer recipe requests by mail.

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