Cut the tips off the asparagus, place them in a steamer basket, steam them for 2-3 minutes or until tender, and set aside. Thinly slice the stems diagonally, place them in a steamer basket, steam them for 4-5 minutes or until tender, and set aside. Measure the water left over from steaming the asparagus, add additional water to measure 7 cups, and place it in a large pot. Add the potatoes, onion, garlic, and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. In a blender or food processor, place the cold water and cornstarch, and blend well to combine. Strain the cooked vegetables from the broth, reserving the cooking liquid, transfer the cooked vegetables to the food processor, and return the cooking liquid to the pot. Add the fresh herbs to the cooking liquid and stir well to combine. Add half of the reserved steamed asparagus stems to the food processor and puree the mixture until smooth. To the pot containing the herbed cooking liquid, add the pureed mixture, reserved steamed tips and stems, and the remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine. Remove the pot from the heat and set the soup aside for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Serve hot or cold and garnish individual servings with a thin slice of lemon.
Yield: 3 Quarts
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