Asparagus soup makes for a perfect spring time delight. The richness of this soup could have you thinking that is a cream-based soup — nope, just the richness of puréed asparagus and the sweetness of sautéed leeks. You can substitute the dairy for soaked cashews or add one diced Yukon potato.
2 pounds asparagus, woody ends removed
2–3 tablespoons butter
3 leeks, washed and chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste
3½ cups water or stock
¾ cup frozen or fresh peas
¼ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Chives or scallions for garnish
Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, leaving the tips whole.
Melt half of the butter in a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add asparagus tips, toss in melted butter for 2–3 minutes, until tips become slightly soft, spoon out asparagus tips and set aside.
Add remaining butter, leeks and a pinch of salt and sauté about 3–4 minutes.
Stir in garlic, some pepper and asparagus pieces and sauté about 4–5 minutes.
Once leeks become wilted, add stock. Increase heat to medium high, stir and cover. Bring soup to a slow boil.
Add peas, simmer on medium low heat, covered, for 5–6 minutes or until asparagus is soft enough to blend easily.
Blend with immersion blender or in two batches in a food processor.
Stir in milk, cheese and add asparagus tips. Serve warm, garnished with fresh chopped chives or scallions and fresh cracked black pepper.