asparagus soup

i could enjoy asparagus with every meal. for breakfast with a fried egg. in hearty salads for lunch... in the spring time, i simply can't get enough. i tried an 'asparagus' soup off a menu about a month ago. i was curious and excited, and then instantly disappointed when i took my first sip. it tasted like a potato bisque and only pale green. i'll credit the potato for giving the soup a smooth consistency without the need for cream, but it craved twice the amount of asparagus. it was a stingy asparagus soup that left me inspired to create my own rendition. this recipe is simple, delicious and gorgeous. it was the perfect side to a soft cheese and prosciutto sandwich on a cool spring evening. 

asparagus soup ~ serves 4-6
2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
3 stalks of celery
1 large yellow sweet potato
3 tablespoons olive oil
vegetable stock 
salt & pepper
parmesan (optional) 

prepare asparagus by washing, trimming and cutting each spear into one-inch chunks. peel the yellow sweet potato, and cut into small cubes. roughly chop onion, garlic and celery. in a large soup pot, heat oil and saute the onions, garlic and celery for a few minutes on medium heat. add potato and asparagus chunks and cover with just enough stock so that all vegetables can cook evenly as they stew in the broth [they do not have to be completely covered... too much broth with make for a very thin soup. always better to add more as you puree the soup to control the consistency] cook on medium heat until all vegetables are fork tender. using an immersion blender (or in a regular blender in smaller batches) puree the soup until smooth. salt and pepper to taste and add more broth if needed. if the soup is too thin, simmer for 10-20 minutes until it cooks down a bit more. serve with shaved parmesan and cracked pepper. yum!