Celebrate spring with this rich and creamy combination of asparagus, rice and everything nice!
In a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, saute garlic, shallots and mushrooms in butter, over medium heat, for 5 minutes. Add rinsed wild and brown rices and cook for another 3 minutes. Add carrots and chicken stock, and turn up the heat to medium-high until boiling. Allow mixture to boil for 10 minutes or so, then reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Allow soup to simmer for 35 minutes.
While soup is simmering, prepare the asparagus by trimming the tough ends off and cutting into 1" pieces, reserving the beautiful tips in a separate bowl. Simmer asparagus spears and seasonal greens in a bit of water until bright green and crisp-tender. Place semi-cooled greens in a food processor with 2 cups of half and half (or heavy cream if you dare), and process until smooth and creamy.
Add creamy greens to the rice mixture (rice will still be slightly firm), along with the chopped red bell pepper, parsley and tarragon. Simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes, then add the reserved asparagus tips. Allow to simmer for another 20 minutes or until soup is of desired consistency. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
For a full meal soup, add cubed cooked chicken breast!
Top with fresh watercress, chives, parsley or Organic Valley's famous Pepper Jack Cheese!