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Fontina and Asparagus Soup

This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

We love to cook with fontina cheese. It’s creamy, it melts beautifully, and it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients in a dish. Here, we’ve paired it with asparagus, and the two bring out the best in each other.

NotesWe like to add small amounts of cayenne and nutmeg to many of our soups because they add immeasurably to the flavor without announcing their presence.

Serves4 to 6

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentblender, food processor

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturebuttery, cheesy, creamy, crisp, crunchy, rich, savory, spiced

Type of Dishhot soup, soup

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour 50 mL
  • 4 cups ( 1 L) milk
  • 2 cups 500 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2/5 cm) pieces
  • 2 cups 500 mL) shredded fontina cheese, tossed with 1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cheesy Croutons

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with flour and sauté until foamy, about 2 minutes.

  2. Gradually whisk in milk, stock, salt, cayenne and nutmeg; reduce heat and simmer, whisking, until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.

  3. Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, pureé soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary. Add cheese, ½ cup (125 mL) at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each addition until cheese is melted. Return pot to low heat, if necessary, to keep soup hot and melt cheese. Do not let boil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

  4. Ladle into heated bowls and garnish with croutons.

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