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Cream of Asparagus Soup

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Fresh asparagus is great steamed, roasted, grilled and here, pureed with broth and a touch of cream for a lovely spring soup.
The first time I tested this recipe I bought a big stalk of asparagus, from which I trimmed the woody ends. When I got ready to retest it, the market I went to had only packaged trimmed asparagus. If buying untrimmed asparagus, you'll need about 1 1/2 pounds, but if using trimmed asparagus, a pound should be fine. Because the thickness of stalks varies, cooking time can vary.
-- Jeanne Besser

Hands on time:   Total time: 30 minutes  Serves: 4


    1 leek, white part only, rinsed well and sliced
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
    1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and then cut into pieces, or 1 pound trimmed asparagus, cut into pieces
    1/2 cup heavy cream


In a well-oiled stockpot, saute leeks until softened. Add flour, and stir for 1 minute. Gradually add chicken broth, stirring frequently to blend. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add asparagus. Cook 4 to 8 minutes, or until asparagus is bright green and just tender. Set aside to cool briefly. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add cream and pulse to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper.


When pureeing hot soup, it is best to let it cool for a couple of minutes so the steam doesn't build too much pressure inside the blender.


Per serving: 206 calories (percent of calories from fat, 47), 15 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 11 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 41 milligrams cholesterol, 536 milligrams sodium.

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