Caroline, This isn't my favorite recipe but it's the one I use for asparagus cheese soup. I've also sub'd low sodium chicken broth for the milk. I think the gang prefers that. I'm always happy to share any recipes if folks want them.
Asparagus Cheese Soup
Yield: 6 Servings
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c flour, all-purpose
1 tb salt
1 dash nutmeg, freshly grated
1 dash pepper
1/2 qt milk
20 oz asparagus; cooked, drained and diced
3 c cheese, cheddar; shredded
Grated cheddar or Parmesan
Melt butter and blend in flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Gradually add milk and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Add asparagus and Cheddar cheese and continue to stir until cheese melts.
To serve, garnish with paprika and a little more shredded Cheddar cheese or grated Parmesan cheese.
SOURCE: Southern Living Magazine, November 1972.
And now for the rest of the story: I cut the tips off of the asparagus after steaming and put the stems in processor to chunk them up. (Love my terminology?) then add the tips whole. I also add real bacon bits to the topping. I've never used Parmesan in the topping - it just didn't seem to be a good fit.