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1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, well rinsed
4 cups chicken stock, homemade or check to be sure it is gluten-free
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 c minced shallots, usually 2
1/2 c minced leeks, whites only, well rinsed, usually just one
1/2 TBS minced garlic, maybe 2 cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
salt to taste
Trim the tips from the asparagus, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length.
Bend to break off the tough stem end from each spear and reserve.
Cut the remaining tender stalks into 1/2-inch pieces.
In a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil. Add the tough woody stems, lower the heat and simmer to infuse with asparagus flavor, 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and discard, reserving the stock.
Add the decorative tips to the stock and blanch until tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove with your slotted spoon and shock in an ice water bath. Drain and reserve for the garnish. Reserve the stock.
In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When foamy, add the shallots and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved broth and simmer until the asparagus is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
With an immersion blender or in batches in a food processor, purée the soup until smooth. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Soup thickness is such a personal preference, feel free to add a cup, or two, of additional stock if you prefer a thinner soup. If serving right away, return to medium heat and add the reserved asparagus tips. Cook, stirring, until the soup is warmed through.
P.S. Since we eat a lot of fresh asparagus, here in the Michigan springtime, each time I roast it, steam it, or sauté it, I break off the woody stems and toss them into a baggie in the freezer. Before you know it I have enough to make soup with only having to supplement with a small, fresh bundle. Otherwise the stems will get used in vegetable stock. Eventually.
Yummmmmeeeee! I just bought a couple pounds of asparagus from our local farmer, so guess what some of it will become? Yep. Soup!
I’ve always wanted to do something with the tough asparagus ends. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m with you on that! I always hating throwing them away…. Since then I’ve started a baggie of the leftover onions, celery bits, even carrot peels. They work wonderfully in home made beef stock!
Good for you! Some people think asparagus soup needs cream. Not this one!
The recipe I have been using is very similar, but my secret ingredient is spinach. Add a big handful at the very end, let it cook a minute or so and then blend it. And a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes never hurt 🙂
Yum! Funny how quickly you’ve come around to hiding spinach in your food!!
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Making this tonight! Yumm!