Cream of Asparagus Soup with a Touch of Fresh Dill

  1. Break off and discard the tough asparagus bottoms. Slice off the tips and set them aside. Chop the remaining stalks into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion, asparagus stalks, and salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes over medium heat. When the onions are clear and soft, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the flour while constantly stirring. Cook over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently, another 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add water, stirring constantly. Heat to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. After about 5 minutes, sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of flour, mixing well. Cook another 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Puree the soup with the milk, either with a hand-held immersion blender, or bit-by-bit in a food processor or blender. (If using either of the latter two, return the puree to a kettle or large saucepan.) Season with white pepper and fresh dill, and taste to correct the salt.
  5. Steam the reserved asparagus tips until just tender. Add these to the soup, heat very gently (don't boil it!) and serve immediately.