Yesterday I made a soup that was so yummy I just have to tell you about it. My dad--who is not a big fan of green vegetables, to put it mildly--even said it was delicious! We ate every single drop of it and then cried because there was no more. I'm seriously considering making a special trip to our brand-spanking new Wegman's, which Scott calls the DisneyWorld of grocery stores. (I can't tell if he means it as a compliment or a criticism, though!)
So without further adieu, I give you Cream of Asparagus Soup!
First, you want to roast the asparagus. Put 1 T. of olive oil and 1 T. of butter in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cut the ends off 1 pound of asparagus, and cut the rest into 1-inch pieces. When the butter is melted into the olive oil, add the asparagus and cover with a lid. Let it roast and steam for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the asparagus) until it's nice and bright green. Then remove the lid, turn heat to high and cook another 5 to 7 minutes (again, use the longer time for thicker asparagus.) Season with salt and pepper. (*You can squeeze some lime juice over it and serve it as a regular ol' vegetable at this point.)
Next melt 4 T. of butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of flour and stir until smooth. Add 2 1/2 cups chicken broth (slowly). Return the saucepan to the heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
Add 1/2 cup half-and-half (I bet I used more like 3/4 cup), salt and pepper, and the roasted asparagus. Stir it all together and hit it just a little with a stick blender--I wanted the soup part to be green, but still leave a lot of the asparagus whole. Heat it through and enjoy!