Creamy Asparagus Soup

I don't know how the weather is in everyone else's area, but here in Pullman, Washington we got some snow over the weekend and are expected to get more the rest of the week.  When it's not snowing it is as cold as it can get, or almost!  That means it's time for me to make more soup!  For me, there's nothing like a hot bowl of soup, being in sweatpants, with the heater on, with a good movie.  Currently I'm watching One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  Kevin and I have been working our way through a book he got for Christmas called 501 Must See Movies, and it has been so fun so far.  I especially like the old romances like An Affair to Remember, but I am not looking forward to getting through the horror section.  Now on to my yummy warm soup of the week:

Creamy Asparagus Soup
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 large bunch of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, reserve the spear tops
1 T vegetable paste, or 3 bullion cubes
4 c water
2 large leaves of collard greens, stems removed 
and roughly chopped (or other dark lettuce)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t dried rosemary
1/4 t white pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c mushrooms, roughly chopped (optional, unpictured)

Directions: Begin by water sauteing the onion in a large saucepan.  Once tender, add the chopped asparagus (but not the tops of the spears), and saute for 5 minutes, stirring continually.  Add the water and vegetable paste and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes. Add the drained beans, spices, and chopped collard greens.  Stir continually until the greens are softened.  Using an immersion blender (or a standard blender in batches), puree the soup until creamy. Add in the asparagus tops and chopped mushrooms (optional) and return to a simmer.  Simmer for ten minutes, covered, and stirring occasionally.  Serve and enjoy!
Amy's Notes: This soup can be made with any darker greens that you like other than collard greens, such as kale, mustard greens, or spinach.   It can also be made to be just a creamy soup without the asparagus tips and mushrooms, whatever you like.  This is an awesomely simple soup that really doesn't take much effort because all of the vegetables are roughly chopped and pureed, so no need to be pretty with your chopping.  I definitely love fast soups :)

What movie is on your must-see list?  Are there any soups on your must-make list?

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