Creamy Asparagus Soup

It was cold and WET in Eastern North Carolina yesterday, so I decided to make one of my favorite warm soups.  Yum!Soups Cream of Asparagus

2 bunches thin asparagus
2 leeks, white and light green parts only
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/8 t salt
1/8 t pepper
3 1/2 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen garden peas
2 Tbs grated Parmesan
1/4 cup Half and Half
Juice of half of a lemon

Trim tough ends off asparagus.
Cut tips off asparagus (reserving them), and chop remaining spears into 1/2 inch pieces.
Rinse leeks thoroughly, and cut them in half lengthwise.
Slice leeks thinly.
In a small skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium high heat.
Add the asparagus tips and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.
Remove tips, pat dry, and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter.
Add asparagus pieces, leek slices, salt, and pepper.
Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally 4 to 6 minutes.
Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in peas.
Working in 2 batches, process the soup in a blender until completely smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
Return soup to the pot.
Stir in Parmesan, Half and Half, and lemon juice.
Garnish with asparagus tips.

Serves 6 in soup bowls or 20 in demitasse or shot glasses.

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