Lemony Cream of Asparagus Soup

Serves 6.

Note: This is a light, easy-to-make soup, perfect for a warm summer evening. If you would like to make it more of a meal, consider adding some lump crab to each bowl. When puréeing hot soup, either use an immersion blender, or with a full-size blender, make sure to fill the container only halfway or the process will cause the hot liquid to “explode.” From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 1/2 lb. asparagus

• 5 c. chicken stock

• 1/2 c. chopped shallots

• 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced

• Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated

• 3/4 c. heavy cream, divided

• 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• Grated lemon peel for garnish

Directions

Peel and trim the bottoms of the asparagus. Rinse spears, pat dry and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, reserving tips.

In a large pot, bring stock to a boil. Add the asparagus tips and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the shallots, potato and lemon zest. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender. Add the remaining asparagus and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Remove from heat and let sit (and cook) for 15 minutes.

Working in batches, purée soup with blender until very smooth. Add 1/2 cup cream and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Cover and chill for at least for 4 hours or up to overnight.

In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup cream until just starting to thicken. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. If necessary, season with more salt.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with reserved asparagus, lemon cream mixture and lemon peel.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 165 Fat 11 g Sodium 320 mg

Carbohydrates 13 g Saturated fat 6 g Total sugars 4 g

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 35 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 carb, 1 medium-fat protein, 1 fat.