Cold enough for mittens and fleece at the beach, so we took our walk along the river this morning. The rain has stopped and the sun is scheduled to make an appearance later this morning.
Last night, the wind was pounding and the rain was coming in buckets and we needed a dinner to warm the bones and the soul. It's spargal time in Germany (the country practically comees to a screeching halt) and the asparagus at our market is tender and fresh, so why not?
2 lb green asparagus
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 to 6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste (I use just a dash)
Cut tips from 12 asparagus stalks, 1.5 inches from top. Reserve these for a garnish.
Cut stalks (I prefer to snap the stalks, as they separate easily at the point where it's too woody to be good eating) and all remaining asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces.
Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
While soup simmers, cook reserved asparagus tips in boiling salted water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain.
Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth, transferring to a bowl (use caution when blending hot liquids), and return to pan. Stir in crème fraîche, then add more broth to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and whisk in remaining tablespoon butter.
Add lemon juice and garnish with asparagus tips.
(adapted from a recipe found at Epicurious)