This comes from The Court House and Jail Restaurant in Woodstock, Illinois. It appeared in the R.S.V.P. Letters to the Editor section of a June 1984 Bon Apetit.
- 3 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick)
- 3⁄4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3⁄4 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups rich chicken broth, heated to a simmer (preferably homemade)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crumbled bay leaf
- 1⁄4 cup sherry wine
- 1 dash hot pepper sauce
- 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pinch dry mustard
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 lb small asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 10 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, about 8 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, add flour and cook, stirring frequently, until frothy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Blend in chicken stock and bay leaf; reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add Sherry,hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire, dry mustard, and freshly ground pepper to taste and simmer 20 minutes.
- Add asparagus and continue cooking until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in cheese and parsley and cook until cheese is melted, 5 to 10 more minutes.
- Ladle soup into heated bowls and serve immediately.
I love this soup! I didn't have any cheddar on hand and I wanted to lighten it up a bit so I cut the butter to 1/3 the amount and I substituted some velveeta light and Laughing Cow queso alfresco and chipotle for the cheddar. Also I replaced about 1/3 of the broth with milk for a creamier texture. I found the taste pure bliss.
Very nice soup. Rich and cheesy and very fillling. I did have a bit of a problem with step 3 as the mixture never got "frothy" so I wondered if I did something wrong or missed an ingredient. It didn't seem to matter as the soup tasted just fine.