When purchasing asparagus, look for bright green stalks and tightly closed tips with a hint of purple. To trim asparagus, simply bend the stalk-the woody end will snap right off.
• 6 cups water
• 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 medium-size onion, diced
• 3 cups chicken broth
• 1 medium-size potato, peeled and diced
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
• 1/8 teaspoon white or black pepper
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cut tips from asparagus. Set aside. Chop remaining stalks into 12-inch pieces. Melt butter in 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add asparagus stalks and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, salt, dill, and pepper. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 10 to 12 minutes uncovered, until potatoes are very tender. Meanwhile, place asparagus tips in small amount boiling water; cook 3 to 4 minutes until crisp tender.
Remove soup from heat and purée until smooth. Stir in heavy cream. Serve warm or chilled, garnished with asparagus tips. Makes 8 appetizer servings.