Asparagus Soup | Recipe | Friday Night Lent Dinner

It's April and still frigid in Cleveland.  Mr. Stranded and I were so chilled to the bones, I decided to make an Asparagus Soup.  Asparagus is a spring vegetable, so I felt we were still seasonal.  If only this snow would go away once and for all!

This soup sure did hit the spot.  We ate it warm, but I'd imagine this would also be good chilled.  Serve with a side salad.  I'm having a hard time guessing how many bowls this yields.  Normally I would serve soup as a starter, but since we only had soup and salad, we ate a lot more than we normally would.  I would say that it's good for 2-3 people if it's a main course, or 6-8 people as a starter.

This recipe tastes best with leeks, but if you don't have leeks handy, use onions.  If using leeks, use the white part only and rinse well

Asparagus Soup Recipe
Yields: 6-8 bowls

2 bunches asparagus
6 c chicken less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 c shallots, minced (about 4 large)
3/4 c leeks or onions, minced (about 2 medium)
3 Tbsp butter
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 c heavy cream (optional)

1. Trim asparagus tips from the top, about 1/2" and reserve.  Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and reserve.  In a medium pot, bring chicken broth to a boil and add woody ends.  Boil 20-30 minutes so broth is infused with asparagus flavor.  In the meantime, cut remaining asparagus into 1/2" pieces.
2. When woody ends have finished cooking, remove with a slotted spoon and discard.  Add tips to broth and boil, 5 minutes until tender-crisp.  Remove with slotted spoon, rinse under cold water and reserve for garnish.
3. Melt butter in a medium pot over Medium heat.  When butter begins to foam, add shallots and leeks.  Saute under tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add remaining asparagus pieces, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and cook 3-4 minutes.
4. Add chicken broth and cook, 15-20 minutes or until asparagus is tender.  Remove from heat.
5. Using an immersion blender or in batches, a regular blender, puree until smooth.  If using a regular blender, remove clear center plastic cap of lid and cover hole loosely with a towel. This will allow hot steam to escape while blending.
6. Using a squeeze bottle, squeeze a swirl of heavy cream into each bowl and garnish with asparagus tips.

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Asparagus Soup recipe