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Asparagus and Leek Soup

3 Leeks; White & Pale Parts
2 lb Asparagus; Trimmed And Cubed
2 tb Vegetable Oil
2 ts Grated Lemon Rind
5 c Chicken Stock

Be sure to wash leeks thoroughly under cold running water, spraying the water in between all layers to rinse away any grit. Coarsely chop leeks. Cut asparagus into 1 1/2 inch lengths; set aside.

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook leeks, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes longer or until very soft. Stir in lemon rind; cook for 1 minute. Add asparagus, stock and 1 cup water; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Remove and set aside 1 cup of the asparagus tips. In blender, puree remaining soup in batches until very smooth. (Soup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. )

Return soup to pot; reheat over low heat. Ladle into bowls; garnish with reserved asparagus tips. Makes 8 servings.

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