Inspired by: The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup
2 pounds fresh asparagus
4 T olive oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks or scallions
3 T rice flour
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 (16 oz) can of coconut milk
2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (any combination of: cilantro, mint, basil, oregano, chives....)
Fresh tomatoes and or cucumber chopped for garnish
1. Cut the top 2 inches off of each asparagus spear and blanch the tips in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
2. Trim the stalks, remove brown or woody parts. Chop remaining stalks in to 1/2 inch pieces.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the slices leeks or scallions and cook over low heat till soft, but not brown. (5 or 6 minutes.) Add garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chopped asparagus stalks, cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes longer till stalks are tender.
4. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes uncovered and stir occasionally.
5. Add water or stock. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add coconut milk, lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Stir in asparagus tips and fresh herbs. Chill well. Check seasoning before serving. Add fresh, chopped tomatoes and cucumber if desired.