** LIGHTENED-UP ASPARAGUS SOUP W/ GOAT CHEESE **
Makes 4-6 servings
* 2 lbs. fresh asparagus, rinsed (about 2 bunches)
* 4 cups chicken stock
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 large leek, rinsed well and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
* 1-2 shallot(s), small diced
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 small lemon, juiced
* 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temp
* Optional: 4 oz. goat cheese, plain or herbed
* Trim the attractive tips from the asparagus, and reserve 1/2 for garnish.
** Note: If you have the time, you can infuse more asparagus flavor into the soup by adding the woody ends to a boiling pot of your chicken stock, and then reducing the heat to a simmer, and cooking for about 30 minutes. Discard the woody ends, and then use the stock as you normally would in the recipe.
* In a medium pot, heat the butter over medium heat.
* Add the leeks and shallots, and cook until tender (about 3-4 minutes).
* Add the broth, and bring to a boil.
* Add the reserved asparagus tips, and cook for 1 minute.
* Remove with a slotted spoon, and place tips in an ice water bath.
* Add the rest of the asparagus, salt, and pepper, to the boiling water, and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
* Using a blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth (note: I tried using my immersion blender and found it didn't work as well).
* Stir in the greek yogurt.
* Season with salt & pepper (to taste).
* Your soup is ready to serve! Garnish with some of the reserved asparagus tips, a sprinkle of goat cheese, and get your spoon ready for this...