Once upon a time, when my friend Andrea and I used to cook together on a regular basis, we decided to try this Asparagus Leek Chowder when asparagus was in season (not to mention leeks!). Our kids ate something else for lunch and then played while we fixed this for ourselves–they were young enough that feeding them soup wasn’t worth the effort–and oh, the joy of it! It’s creamy, it’s delicately flavorful, it’s swimming with veggies, and it really does, as another friend told me, taste like spring.
The best part is that it’s relatively easy, especially if you buy your mushrooms sliced. It comes together quickly and makes an amazing lunch. (Honestly, it makes an amazing anything, and writing about it is making me want to finish off the leftovers in the fridge right now.) I substitute evaporated milk for the half-and-half, or at least a cup and a half of it (that’s one can) topped off with regular milk. I also leave out the pimientos. They’re not my thing, but even if you like them, they don’t really fit with this; they would just obscure the loveliness of the other flavors involved. Other than that, I follow the recipe, and it’s always incredible.
Bottom line? Go buy asparagus, leeks, and mushrooms, and go to town!