Serves 4-6 as a main dish, 8 as a first course
1 pound of asparagus, trimmed and cut into one-inch lengths
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, quartered lengthwise, rinsed thoroughly to remove grit, and sliced
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for garnish.
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and ground black pepper
Place asparagus, ½ cup water and a generous sprinkle of salt into a large Dutch oven or soup kettle. Cover, turn the burner on high and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until asparagus is crisp tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and then spread asparagus on a paper towel to cool quickly
Return pot to stove and heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice to coat with oil; add wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Add 1 cup of stock, stirring pretty constantly an allowing rice to absorb it before adding the next cup Continue adding stock and stirring until rice is almost cooked with a little chew at the center and liquid is creamy. Stir in asparagus and peas; cook until heated through. Stir in cheese and butter. Adjust seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste, Serve immediately, sprinkling with additional cheese and a few grinds of pepper.