Jannie made this soup the other night with fresh asparagus from the farmers market and it was out of this world! It calls for cream to be added at the end but I never felt the need to add it.
3 pounds fresh asparagus
8 cups chicken broth
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup minced shallots
1 cup minced leeks, whites only
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 finely grated Parmesan, garnish
Trim the tops of asparagus, 1-1/2 inches. Reserve for later. Cut the remaining stalks into 1/2 in peices.
In a medium pot, bring stock to boil. Add the stems, lower heat and simmer to infuse the asparagus flavor, 20-30 min. Remove with slotted spoon and discard, reserving stock.
Add decorative tips to stock and blanch until tender, 1-1/2 min. Remove with strainer and refresh in ice bath. Drain and reserve for garnish. Reserve the stock.
In a med stockpot, melt the butter over med-high heat. When foamy, add shallots and leeks and cook until tender, about 3 min. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 min. Add chopped stalks, salt and pepper and cook, stirring 2 min. Add the reserved broth and simmer until asparagus are tender, 15 min. Remove from heat.
Puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning, to taste.
Serve warm. Before serving, add cream and asparagus tips, sprinkle with cheese and serve.