Creamy Asparagus Soup with Parmesan
Peel the asparagus, cut off the woody ends and cut off the tips. Set aside tips. Cut remaining spears into 3 cm (approximately 1-inch) pieces. Bring the asparagus peelings to a boil in a pot with 1.5 liters (approximately 6 3/4 cups) of water, 1 pinch of salt and 1 pinch of sugar and let simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Strain the cooking liquid through a sieve into a new pot, return to the boil and cook the asparagus pieces for 4-5 minutes. Remove the pieces and drain.
In another saucepan, melt the butter and sprinkle with the flour. With a wooden spoon stir and cook butter and flour mixture until golden and gradually pour in 900 ml (approximately 3 3/4 cups) asparagus cooking liquid. Stir vigorously with a whisk, so that no lumps form. Add reserved asparagus tips and simmer for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove some of the asparagus tips and set aside for garnish.
Puree the soup finely, pass through a fine sieve, stir in the cream and bring to a boil again briefly. Season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Serve soup in preheated soup bowls garnished with the asparagus tips, shaved Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.