Cream of asparagus soup with lemon and Parmesan

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Serves 4-6
40g butter
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2bunches of asparagus, bottom ends trimmed
1.5 vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
1 lemon
40g Parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

 

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for about eight minutes until soft.
  2. Trim off the tips of one bunch of asparagus and set aside; you’ll use these for a garnish at the end. Chop the remaining spears into chunks.
  3. Add the chopped asparagus to the pot along with the stock and some salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes, or until tender-crisp. Transfer to a bowl of ice water, then drain and set aside.
  5. Purée the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth. Alternatively, transfer the soup in batches to a blender, then return to the pot.
  6. Bring the soup back to a simmer and stir in the lemon juice and Parmesan.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmesan, fresh parsley and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Note: Chicken stock can be used as an alternative to vegetable stock, if you wish.