Asparagus is an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin that helps to prevent heart disease and birth defects.
1 kg asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 medium leeks, pale green and white parts only, rinsed and finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons uncooked long-grain white rice
grated zest of 1 lemon
5 cups (1 1/4 litres) salt-reduced chicken stock
1?2 teaspoon salt
1?4 teaspoon black pepper
1?2 teaspoon dried tarragon
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
Slice the tips from the asparagus; blanch in boiling water for 1 minute and drain.
Coarsely chop remaining asparagus. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, onion and garlic; sauté until softened, 5 minutes. Add chopped asparagus. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Add rice, lemon zest, stock, salt and pepper. Partially cover; simmer for 30 minutes.
Purée soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to pan. Stir in tarragon and the reserved asparagus tips. Simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
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