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Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup
A beautiful and delicious smooth, creamy, pale green soup to celebrate spring and Lake Breeze organics
Serves 4-6

2 pounds asparagus
1 large onion, chopped (or use 1 bunch of spring onions or shallots)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter  
4-5 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup creme fraiche or heavy whipping cream
squirt of fresh lemon juice
salt and fresh ground pepper

Wash and trim asparagus.  Cut off tips from about 8 stalks and reserve for garnish.  Cut remainder of stalks into 1/2 inch lengths.  

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy 4 quart pot over moderately low heat.  Sautee onion, stirring, until softened.  Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper to taste.  Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring.  Add 4 cups broth, bring to boil, and simmer covered about 10 minutes, until asparagus is tender but still bright green.  Timing will depend on thickness of asparagus; slender stalks may be done sooner and thicker ones may take longer.

While soup simmers, put reserved asparagus tips in a small microwave safe bowl with a few tablespoons of water.  Cover and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, until tender.  Drain.

Puree soup in a blender (using caution and removing center of blender cover to allow steam to escape) in batches until smooth, transferring blended batches to a bowl.  Return pureed soup to the pan and stir in creme fraiche or cream.  Add more stock if needed for desired consistency.  Gently heat to boiling, adjust seasoning.  If desired, whisk in remaining tablespoon of butter.  Squeeze in a little bit of fresh lemon juice.

Ladle into bowls, garnish with a little dollop of creme fraiche or a swirl of cream and the reserved asparagus tips.

Diane Judge adapted from Gourmet Magazine, accessed on epicurious.com