Serves 4

1 1/4 lbs. fresh asparagus, trimmed, peeled and cut into 2 inch lengths
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
1 cup diced raw, peeled potato (1/4-inch)
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

  1. Steam the asparagus in a vegetable steamer until crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks. Immediately plunge the asparagus into a bowl of ice water.
  2. When cool, drain and set aside, reserving 8 asparagus tips for garnish.
  3. Melt the butter in a large pot over low-medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring once or twice, for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock and raise the heat to high.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and cook until the potato is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  7. Add the asparagus (except for the reserved tips) and cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  8. Puree the soup.
  9. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. If the soup has cooled, reheat gently until hot.
  10. Garnish each serving with 2 reserved asparagus tips.