here. Cut tips off asparagus spears and chop stalks into 1/2-inch pieces. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (I used a combo of olive oil and unsalted butter) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add asparagus tips and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Right here, I could have eaten all of these. OK. I ate one. It was delicious.
Add remaining butter and asparagus, leeks, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to empty pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.The secret ingredients are about to be revealed...
Add broth to pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas and Parmesan. Peas and Parmesan? Yes, that's right. Cook's Country found that the peas gave a vibrant green color to the soup, but taste testers couldn't detect the peas. The Parmesan's slightly nutty flavor was a good balance to the asparagus, the article said. Now, to make the soup creamy....
Puree soup in blender in 2 batches and return to pot. However, kudos to you if you have an immersion blender. I've written this dozens of times-- I find it so much easier to puree my soups right in the pot! Why bother pouring soups, in batches, into a blender and then back into the pot? Whatever floats your boat. Last, stir in cream, lemon juice, and asparagus tips, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
This is the truth-- I made this soup in less than 30 minutes! Of course, how did it taste, you wonder?
Winner, winner, winner! Craig and I both loved this soup a lot. The first thing we commented about was the pretty color. We do taste with our eyes, don't we? The balance of asparagus flavor was perfect. Craig didn't taste the peas nor the Parmesan cheese. These surprising ingredients complemented the overall flavor of the soup. I think you could easily substitute the heavy cream for half and half, or even milk. To us, 1/4 cup of heavy cream for six servings isn't too big an indulgence.
This soup is worthy of company. It's elegant, flavorful and not too heavy. It's a perfect Spring Time Soup.
Spring has arrived in my hometown!