Prime Time Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan
- 2 bunches Prime Time Asparagus (about 2 1/4 pounds, bottom ends trimmed)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
- In the meantime, cut the tips off of one bunch of the Prime Time Asparagus and set aside (you can use those for a garnish, if you like). Cut the remaining spears and the other bunch of asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Add the chopped asparagus to the pot (minus the reserved tips), along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain the tips and then place them in a bowl of ice water to "shock" them -- this stops the cooking process and preserves their bright green color. Once the tips are cool, drain them and set aside.
- Purée the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth. (Alternatively, use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches, then return the soup to the pot.) Bring the soup back to a simmer and stir in the lemon juice and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. To thicken the soup, allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the desired consistency is reached.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmigiano-Reggiano, herbs (if using), and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with crusty bread or croutons, if desired.
- Freezer-Friendly Instructions: You can freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. (The soup will freeze best if you add the cheese when reheating.)
Recipe courtesy of onceuponachef.com