Be sure to rinse the leeks very well — their tight layers can hold a surprising amount of dirt.
MAKES: 4 servings
1 ¼ pounds asparagus, rinsed, tough stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
4 teaspoons cannabutter
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 ½ cups thinly sliced leeks, divided
½ cup half-and-half
½ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
Salt (kosher or sea)
White pepper, to taste
1. In a medium pot, combine the asparagus and stock. Simmer covered, over medium heat, until the asparagus is tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to low.
2. In medium skillet, heat the butter and cannabutter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and 1 cup of the leeks and sauté until the leeks are tender, about 7 to 9 minutes.
3. Add the leek mixture to the soup along with the half-and-half and cook over low heat 5 minutes. (Do not wash the skillet.) Turn off the heat and let the soup cool slightly.
4. Return the skillet to medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the remaining ½ cup of leeks and cook until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the leeks to a clean dish towel or paper towel to drain.
5. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup directly in the pot.
6. Return the blended soup to the pot and rewarm it over medium-low heat.
7. Garnish the soup with the lemon zest and frizzled leeks and season with salt and pepper before serving.
Chefs’ Note: This soup is also delicious served chilled. You can use frozen, thawed asparagus if fresh is not in season. You can also substitute fennel or cauliflower for the asparagus — just make sure the vegetables are tender before pureeing the soup. To make the soup vegan, use vegetable stock and canna-coconut oil instead of cannabutter, and omit the half-and-half (or use a vegan substitute).