Asparagus and Leek Soup with Cheese Crisps
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 bottle pale ale
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends cut off, chopped
  • 3 cups grated white cheddar, plus ½ cup or so for crisps
  • Sour cream and croutons, for garnish
  • Salt and lots of fresh ground pepper
  1. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until soft, 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 more minute, and stir in the dry mustard and the flour. Cook for a couple minutes until the flour is incorporated and lightly brown.
  3. Stir in the beer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half. You want to cook until the aroma of the beer is almost gone, or your soup may taste slightly bitter. This will take maybe 6-7 minutes.
  4. Add the milk, the stock and the asparagus. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering, make the cheese crisps. Heat a nonstick skillet (cast iron is best) until it is very hot. Add the cheese, about a teaspoon at a time, without piling it up too high. Let it cook until bubbly, flip and cook for another few seconds. When the cheese pieces start to brown a little, remove from the pan or it will taste burned. It will brown up as it cools.
  6. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, leaving a few pieces of asparagus if you like. Return to pot and stir in 3 cups cheese over low heat.
  7. If the soup is too thick, add a little bit more milk or stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve the soup topped with a spoonful of sour cream, some croutons and a few of the cheese crisps.
Recipe by Tiny Red Kitchen at