When I buy asparagus, I prepare 2 different dishes from these lovely green spears into: I boil the tender halves and serve them with meat or fish dishes and I use the lower halves to make a luscious asparagus-cream-soup.
This has the following reason: The first time I cooked asparagus here in Goa I just cut off the end of the stems, boiled it and served it with some melted butter. As a good German I had no quivers at all to eat the full length of the vegetable. My Italian husband however just cut off the tender tips and left the rest to be thrown away…this quite shocked me. I cannot deny my austere German character traits: I hate wasting anything, especially expensive food. So the next time I just served the tender bits and used the lower parts to make soup – which my spoilt husband ate happily without complaints.
One advice: The tips of the vegetable are the best parts, but very delicate. Fresh asparagus has green tips which look alive and healthy. If the tips are dark or withered, don’t bother to spend the money for it. When you buy asparagus, make sure the vendor carefully covers the tips of the spears in a plastic bag. Then put the asparagus bundles on top of your other shopping so it does not get damaged. You absolutely have to cook asparagus the day you are buying it to get the best from this rather expensive treat. Serve the vegetable immediately. The base for the soup can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.