A quick and easy recipe for Creamy Asparagus Soup – a classic winter winner

Ingredients
750g Fresh Green Asparagus spears – woody stem bits discarded
1 Large Onion – peeled and chopped
3 Leeks – washed and sliced
1 Garlic clove – peeled and finely sliced
30ml Olive Oil
30ml Butter
1 Liter Hot Chicken Stock (use Vegetable stock for the veg option)
500ml Water
6 Sprigs Thyme – leaves picked off and stems removed
Large bunch Fresh Parsley (about 25g)
60ml Cream or Creme Fraiche (optional)
1/2 Lemon – Finely grated zest and juice
Salt and pepper
20g Parmesan Cheese – finely grated

How to
Cut tips from the asparagus (about 3cm from top) and reserve for garnish. Chop the remaining asparagus stalks up into 3cm pieces and set aside

Place large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, butter, onion, leeks and garlic and saute for about five minutes, stirring often, until onion is limp and translucent

Add the asparagus pieces and the thyme and saute for another 5 minutes

Pour in the hot stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, with the lid on, for about 15 minutes until the asparagus pieces are tender

Take off the heat, cool slightly

While the soup is cooling bring about 500ml water to a rolling ball in a small saucepan with a good pinch of salt

Add the reserved asparagus tips and boil for about 3 minutes just until done. Refresh immediately in some icy cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside until needed.

Add the chopped parsley, zest and juice of the lemon to the slightly cooled soup and blend until smooth with a stick blender or food processor

Return to the saucepan, add the cream or creme fraiche (if using) and the parmesan cheese. Season to taste and stir over heat just until heated through

Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a few asparagus tips and some extra parmesan cheese

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