Creamy Asparagus Ends Soup

 photo 0AE7F59B-8C5C-4ED0-88DA-F51A2ABC3FB8_zpsbekxw9hs.jpg
I make numerous kinds of soups and chowders, so am well stocked up with broths and bullion cubes, as they're so handy for soups, sauces and gravies.  

In the spring, stores seem to offer sales on bags of asparagus.  I can't stand to throw away the snapped off ends -- "waste not, want not," as the saying goes.

Blanching, freezing and repackaging asparagus is a frugal way to have it on hand for future meals, so save the ends to make this soup.  

Since they're going to be thrown out or put in the compost pile, I figure they're practically a freebie for this recipe, so their cost isn't figured in the estimated cost.  

Other ingredients for a quart of this delightful soup amount to around a dollar. Serve with crusty bread and a salad for dinner or lunch.

Also makes a great first entree/appetizer soup.

 photo D7115132-415A-4089-9945-552CC39806E8_zpscv7zbgvt.jpg Creamy Asparagus Ends Soup
25-60 sliced asparagus ends, about 2 cups 
1 onion, chopped
4 chicken bullion cubes
1 quart of water  
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Bay Leaf
2 medium potatoes, cubed
4 Tabs. lemon juice
1/2 cup cream or milk
3 Tabs of butter
salt and pepper to taste

(optional toppings for garnish) grated or shaved Parmesan,
cooked prosciutto, crumbled bacon bits, parsley, chives, lemon zest, or croutons

 photo 8BE4BC7D-FE7C-4037-83FB-D5C312E14935_zpsamjhyctm.jpgPlace sliced asparagus ends, bay leaf, chopped onions, and garlic in a large pot and fill with broth. Bring to a boil and simmer 30-40 minutes until asparagus is very soft and mushy. Remove Bay Leaf.
Blend asparagus and liquid using an immersion wand or blender. If using a blender, blend in small batches as liquid is hot.  Blend until smooth with very little pulp or fiber. If necessary use a fine strainer to remove pulp. My immersion wand blends it fine enough so that I don't need to strain it.

Add the blended asparagus stock back to the cooking pot and add potatoes. Simmer on medium low for 20 minutes until heated and potatoes are soft. Mash and/or blend well. Add lemon juice, cream, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until blended.

Serve hot and garnish bowls of soup with grated Parmesan, fried prosciutto, roasted asparagus spears and/or zest of a lemon.  
Serves 4 - 6

Estimated cost: $1.00 or less; .25 cents a serving or less.

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