Creamy Asparagus Soup

Creamy Asparagus Soup

2 pounds fresh asparagus
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
1 large or two small leeks, the white part and some of the light green, thoroughly washed and chopped
1 1/2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced
A handful of fresh parsley leaves
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (canned or homemade)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 or more cups heavy cream, light cream or milk

Wash and trim the asparagus, and cut into 1-inch pieces, reserving the tips. Cook the tips in a small amount of boiling water until barely tender, then drain, rinse them in cold water and set them aside for the garnish.

In a large pot, melt the butter over low heat and saute the onions and leeks until soft and translucent. Add the potatoes, asparagus, parsley and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently just until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 or 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and puree the mixture in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the pan, stir in enough cream to make a consistency you like, and heat just until steaming. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a warmed tureen or ladle into bowls and garnish with the asparagus tips.

Yield: serves 4 to 6.