2 large bunches of asparagus
2 large shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 cup of cream
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Break the ends of the asparagus and reserve the tops for later. Chop the ends into smaller 1/4 inch pieces.
Chop the shallots and garlic, and cook in a soup pot, in the olive oil, over medium high heat for about 5-7 minutes.
Add the chopped asparagus ends, soften for about 5 minutes more in the oil, then add the stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the butter and cream and continue to simmer, lid off, for another 25 minutes or so until the asparagus ends are cooked through.
Blend the soup thoroughly, and then carefully strain it (to remove any stringy bits) back into the pot.
Meanwhile, blanch the tops of the asparagus for just 2-3 minutes in boiling water, and drain.
To serve, ladle soup into a cup or bowl, and add a few spears, cut into pieces, for each serving.
Like any soup, this one goes perfectly with a hearty salad, some cheeses, and chunks of fresh crunchy bread with butter, for dipping, if you enjoy that sort of thing.