Asparagus Soup

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      Asparagus Soup

      1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
      1 teaspoon vegetable oil
      1 small onion, coarsely chopped
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 celery stalk, sliced
      2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
      1 cup fat free half-n-half
      pinch of nutmeg (optional)
      dash of hot pepper sauce
      toasted almonds (optional)

      Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized pan over high heat. Add the asparagus and cover. Cook until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Reserve liquid. Heat oil in pan and saute onion, garlic, and celery for a few minutes. Add the asparagus, chicken broth, half and half and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree mixture in blender. Reheat, adjust seasoning and serve with toasted almonds on top. Serves 6

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