This is a true spring treat. The immersion blender has revolutionized for me the ease of preparing pureed soups and the frequency of which I prepare them. I highly recommend this terrific kitchen tool.
Cream of Asparagus Soup with Spring Herb Gremolata
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 leeks, trimmed and sliced
4 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups chicken stock
¼ cup dry sherry
½ cup crème fraiche
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
zest of 2 lemons
1 clove garlic, minced
In a heavy stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and sauté until tender approximately 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the asparagus is very tender, approximately 20 minutes. Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the sherry and crème fraiche and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In a small bowl, mix together the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. To serve, ladle the soup into soup bowls and garnish with the gremolata.