I have posted this recipe before on my blog but it is such a short season and when I can purchase them I feel compelled to share this recipe again and again. It can be served hot or cold and it is a delight to the senses.
Adapted from Gourmet, March 2001 and found at Epicurious
Yield: Makes 4 servings
2 pounds green asparagus
1 large leek, white portion only, chopped
2 Thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
1/2 heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Cut tips from 12 asparagus 1 1/2 inches from top and halve tips lengthwise if thick. Reserve for garnish. Peel woody ends and cut stalks and all remaining asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces.
Cook leek in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add asparagus pieces, thyme sprigs and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
When the soup is almost done simmering, place reserved asparagus tips in an Asian strainer, if available, and lower into simmering soup until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain. Chop asparagus tips or leave whole, as desired.
Remove thyme sprigs and purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth, transferring to a bowl (use caution when blending hot liquids), and return to pan. I used a stick blender and then strained the soup to remove any possible stringy bits. Stir in cream, then add more stock to thin soup, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
Add lemon juice and garnish with asparagus tips and a little freshly ground nutmeg.
It's always a good idea to prep all ingredients before hand.