Substitute green asparagus for the white asparagus if the white are not in season. Classically Vichysoisse is served cold but if you like, serve the soup hot.
White Asparagus Soup
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and shallots. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes and chicken stock. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Add asparagus. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer the soup for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and puree in a blender (or alternatively puree with a hand blender). Strain the soup through a medium-meshed sieve. Add ¼ cup to ½ cup cream depending on how creamy you like your soup. Chill completely. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add the asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes, or just until the asparagus are cooked through. Remove from heat and chill.
Serve soup chilled. Check soup for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed. Serve soup garnished with a few asparagus tops and chopped chives. Yield: 6 servings.