Asparagus Vichyssoise

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Ingredients:

2 pounds asparagus, tips reserved, stalks cut into 1-inch lengths

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

2 cups water

1 large thyme sprig

1 1/2 cups milk

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

chive oil, for serving

Directions:

1. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus tips until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain the asparagus tips in a colander and refresh under cold water. Pat dry, halve the tips lengthwise and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus stalks, potatoes, stock, water and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Discard the thyme sprig. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the milk, salt and white pepper. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

4. Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and drizzle with Chive Oil. Garnish with the asparagus tips and serve.

Bon Appetit!

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