Asparagus Soup with Tarragon and Chèvre

This recipe makes approximately four 1 cup servings.  Each serving is around 175 calories.

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. butter- divided
  • 4 large shallots- diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 oz. chèvre (goat cheese)
  • 2 tsp. dried tarragon 
  • 1 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 c. low-sodium vegetable stock (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. low-fat half &half
  • 1/2 c. low-fat milk
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • chives- chopped (to garnish)

Directions:
  • Dice the shallots and the asparagus.  Reserve most of the asparagus tips for garnishing the soup later.  
  • Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat and saute the shallots for about 4 minutes, until they are soft and tender. 
  • Add the asparagus and the tarragon.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus becomes nice and tender.  Toss in the chèvre and stir to combine.  The cheese should melt and everything should begin to look creamy. 
  • Once the cheese melts, add in the flour.  Stir and cook for 1 minute--so the flour no longer tastes raw.  Stir in the veggie stock and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil.  Then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the asparagus is very, very tender.
  • Remove from heat and process the soup in a blender until very smooth.  Press the pureed mixture through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a clean bowl or pot.  
  • Add the milk/half & half by pouring it in the sieve--over the asparagus puree.  This way you can get maximum asparagus flavor.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set the soup aside.  It can be served either hot or cold.
  • In a small pan, melt 1 tsp. butter and add the reserved asparagus tips.  Saute for about 4 minutes--to soften.   (I also added a little minced black garlic at this stage).
  • When you're ready to serve the soup, ladle it into bowls and garnish with asparagus tips, chives and a few small chunks of chèvre.

Original recipe with photos can be found @ http://myfancypantry.com/2012/05/10/asparagus-soup/
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