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Ingredients:
2 medium leeks, very finely chopped
50g unsalted butter
10ml olive oil
150g asparagus, chopped into rings
1 litre chicken stock
250ml double cream
6 wild garlic leaves, very finely chopped
flaked sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
crusty bread, to serve

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Asparagus and Leek Soup with Wild Garlic

SERVES: 3-4

It may seem a little indulgent using asparagus in a soup, but there is a limit to the number of times you can eat it on its own, and the leek and wild garlic make wonderful seasonal companions in a dish that is crammed with vitality and flavour. Wild garlic, also known as ramsons, is an easy crop to grow, but you can also find it in damp woodland areas in spring. You will recognise it by the distinctive garlic smell given off by the leaves, as well as the small, starry white flowers.

Pop the leeks into a large saucepan with the butter and oil. Add a little salt and cook on a low heat, so as not to colour the leeks. Add the asparagus rings to the leeks as they soften. Stir and add the chicken stock. After simmering for ten minutes, remove the pan from the heat and blitz the contents with an electric hand blender. You don’t have to have a silky smooth texture; a few bits are fine. Pour in the cream and return the soup to the stove to heat through for a couple of minutes.

Add the wild garlic leaves to the soup. When they have softened, ladle the soup into bowls, grind over a sprinkling of white pepper and serve with crusty bread.