Soup:

2 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed
6 to 8 scallions, root ends trimmed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups tightly packed baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Kosher salt

Procedure:

1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

2. Place the asparagus and scallions in a large bowl and turn to coat them with the oil. Grill them over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until they are marked by the grill but not dark, 4 to 6 minutes, turning once or twice. Transfer the vegetables to a cutting board and cut into 2-inch lengths; place in a medium saucepan.

3. Add the chicken broth, spinach, and pepper to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, and then simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a food processor and puree them. Return the pureed vegetables to the saucepan and mix well. Whisk in the cream and tarragon. Simmer the soup for 3 to 5 minutes, but do not let it boil. Season with salt and serve warm.

Makes 6 servings