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© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
In a medium saucepan, stir together water, bouillon, lemongrass (or lemon zest), cilantro and white pepper; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids; return the liquid to the saucepan.
Return liquid to boiling. Set aside a few of the asparagus tips for garnish. Add the remaining asparagus to the pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 to 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Carefully transfer mixture to a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Set aside.
In the same pot, gradually stir milk into cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. (The mixture may be slightly foamy.) Gradually add the asparagus mixture, stirring constantly. Heat through.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Swirl a little sour cream into each serving, if desired, and top with reserved asparagus tips.