Bring stock and bay leaves to a boil in a large pot. Cook asparagus until tender and add to stock pot. Melt
butter in a separate saucepan
and gently saute onions, celery, and carrots
) until tender, then gradually add flour (with a non-reactive utensil such as a wooden spoon), and cook until similar to a roux
. Transfer to the pot of stock to thicken soup. Let simmer
for 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves
from soup. *Blend to a puree with an immersion blender
, or in batches in a blender or food processor
. Add cream to the soup, and keep warm over low heat.
For the crab "souffle," mix crab
, thyme, salt and pepper, and squeeze of fresh lemon juice
, trying to avoid breaking up the lumps of crabmeat. Place a scoop of the crabmeat in the center of soup bowl and ladle the asparagus
soup around. Garnish
with a lemon wedge.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse
a few times then process on high speed until smooth.