Recipe for Asparagus soup

Serves 6

Hadley is known for native asparagus (called Hadley grass), celebrated every spring by the local churches and civic groups that offer asparagus suppers, writes reader Pam Juengling. She says, “I developed this soup based on various recipes and versions I’ve tasted.’’ Although it takes a bit of extra time, before cutting the stalks, use a vegetable peeler to trim the woodier ends.

2bunches fresh asparagus1½cups chicken stock2stalks celery, diced5scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths½teaspoon Worcestershire sauce¼teaspoon ground nutmegSalt and pepper, to taste1cup whole milk

1. Trim the asparagus ends and cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces.

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2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken stock, celery, and scallions. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add the asparagus, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the asparagus are almost tender.

4. Add the milk and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking for a few minutes or until the milk is just heated through.

5. Using a slotted spoon remove ⅓ of the asparagus and set aside. In a blender, puree the remaining mixture in batches until smooth. Return to the pan. Reheat just until hot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

6. Coarsely chop the remaining asparagus. Divide it among 6 bowls. Ladle the soup on top. Adapted from Pam Juengling

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