In Europe, it is such a big deal when the asparagus is in season. I got this recipe from a colleague, and it is delicious. The original recipe includes Parmesan custard. Since it was a week day, I only did the soup.
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup heavy cream
- Wash chopped leek in a bowl of cold water, then lift out and drain well.
- Cook leek, shallot, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in butter in a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until leek is softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add asparagus, broth, and water and simmer, covered, until asparagus is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
- After 2 to 4 minutes, remove 6 asparagus tips, halve lengthwise and reserve for garnish.
- Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids).
- Transfer to a large bowl, then pour through a sieve into cleaned pot. (I skipped this step, since I don’t mind having pieces in my soup. I even like it!)
- Stir in cream, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and heat over moderately low heat until hot.