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Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Asparagus and Broccoli Soup

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All hail asparagus season! These little green/purple/white monsters are loaded with all sorts of goodies like vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and fiber and plenty of springtime taste.

The best asparagus is most definitely local asparagus, and with the Lawrence Farmers' Market back in season, now is most surely the time to try out a new recipe or two that highlights the special flavor and properties of asparagus.

This soup might be the perfect vehicle those who'd like to try something new with their stalks. It utilizes not only asparagus, but yummy Yukon Gold potatoes, broccoli and another spring specialty — leeks.

Asparagus and Broccoli Soup

6 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, sliced

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Heat 1/2 cup broth in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, add leek and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add remaining broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in asparagus and broccoli and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside to let cool slightly.

Carefully transfer soup to a blender and purée in batches until smooth. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with chives and serve.

--Recipe from www.wholefoodsmarket.com

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