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Creamy Asparagus Soup

To remove the tough ends from asparagus, hold each spear at either end and bend until it snaps. Discard the woody base.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, homemade (see related recipe at left) or purchased
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

Directions:

Simmer the asparagus
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the stock, wine and asparagus, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.

Puree the soup
Using a food processor or blender, process the soup to a smooth puree. Return the soup to the pan and place over low heat. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Reheat to serving temperature. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with the tarragon and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Soup, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2006).