Asparagus Soup

Nothing says spring like fresh asparagus and it seems we are seeing it earlier and earlier in the produce department these days.  Although I prefer to wait for the local crop,  purchasing organic asparagus coming from some of the warmer states can satisfy a craving for a delicious soup  this time of year. 

Asparagus are loaded with vitamin C, a whopping 404 milligrams of potassium per cooked cup,  folate (an important B vitamin) and vitamin K, which is essential for healthy clotting and strong bones.  And as an added bonus,  asparagus are high in fiber and low in calories.  Enjoy this healthy and delicious soup! 

Asparagus Soup

Olive oil for sautéing vegetables (2-3 tablespoons)
2 pounds fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1 leak, white part only, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch rings
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
5-6 cups good quality reduced sodium chicken  or vegetable stock
additional water if necessary
1/4 cup half and half
additional sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Heat oil on medium heat in large non-stick soup pot. Add onion and leak to hot pan, cooking until vegetables soften and start to caramelize, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for two minutes. Add asparagus, parsley, mushrooms
and chicken stock and cook on low boil until vegetables are soft and can be blended. Use your hand held blender and puree soup. Add half and half and adjust seasoning.
If soup is too thick add a half to full cup of water. Enjoy!

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