2 pounds asparagus (see note), stem ends trimmed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small leeks , white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
½ cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
1. COOK TIPS Cut tips off asparagus spears and chop stalks into ½-inch pieces. Melt 1 ½ tablespoons butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add asparagus tips and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
2. SOFTEN VEGETABLES Add remaining butter and asparagus, leeks, ½ tablespoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper to empty pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.
3. SIMMER SOUP Add broth to pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in peas and Parmesan. Puree soup in blender** in 2 batches and return to pot.
**NOTE: I always use an immersion blender to puree my soups right in the pot—so much easier and less cleanup.
Stir in cream, lemon juice, and asparagus tips, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. (Soup can be refrigerated in airtight container for 2 days.)