ADVOCATED-TESTED RECIPE

Asparagus Soup

Serves 2 (about 1 cup each). Recipe from “Gluten-Free Cooking for Two” by Carol Fenster. Copyright ©2017 by Carol Fenster. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Fenster suggests serving the soup "in coffee cups for a cute touch." You can choose which herb you want to use in the soup; each is delicious. Or, try the variations for broccoli soup or cauliflower soup.

1 (14-ounce) can (1¾ cups) gluten-free low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided

¼ pound fresh asparagus, or ½ (10-ounce) package frozen

1 small leek, white parts only, thoroughly cleaned, rinsed, and diced or 2 tablespoons diced onion

1 teaspoon unsalted butter or buttery spread

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

⅛ teaspoon (dash) freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon chopped fresh herbs (dill, tarragon, thyme, or chives), plus extra for garnish

1½ teaspoons sweet rice flour or ¾ teaspoon cornstarch

1. In a medium saucepan, bring half of the broth, the asparagus, leek, butter, salt, and pepper to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus and leek are tender.

2. With a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus and leek to a blender. Add the remaining broth, the herbs, and rice flour and puree for about 1 minute, until the mixture is very smooth.

3. Transfer the mixture back to the pan and cook the soup over medium heat until it is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs.

Nutrition info per serving: 105 calories; 12 g protein; 2 g total fat; 2 g fiber; 12 g carbohydrates; 5 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium

Cream of Broccoli Soup: Replace the asparagus with the same amount of 1-inch chunks of fresh or frozen broccoli. Proceed as directed. This variation is an excellent way to use up broccoli spears that have been trimmed from the florets.

Nutrition info per serving: 110 calories; 12 g protein; 2 g total fat; 3 g fiber; 12 g carbohydrates; 5 mg cholesterol; 744 mg sodium

Cream of Cauliflower Soup: Replace the asparagus with the same amount of 1-inch chunks of fresh cauliflower. Use 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese or soy Parmesan and 1/16 teaspoon (pinch) grated nutmeg in place of the fresh herbs. Proceed as directed.

Nutrition info per serving: 120 calories; 13 g protein; 3 g total fat; 2 g fiber; 12 g carbohydrates; 7 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium