Yield: 9 servings (2-1/4 quarts).
2 medium leeks (white portion only), chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (32-ounce) carton vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon minced chives
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
5 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
3 Tablespoons shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
In a large saucepan, sauté leeks in butter until tender.
Stir in flour until blended.
Gradually add the broth, water, parsley, herbes de Provence, chives, celery seed and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Cut tips off asparagus and set aside.
Cut stalks into 1/2-inch pieces; add to pan.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until asparagus is tender.
In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth.
Return all to pan.
Stir in potatoes.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in asparagus tips; cover and simmer 5-8 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in ham and cream; heat through.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Day After Easter Soup published in Healthy Cooking April/May 2010