Cut the asparagus stalks into chunks, keeping the spear ends separate and in a small bowl. Put the chopped stalks into a saucepan with 1.5 litres of water, and 2 Knorr stock jellies, I use chicken if I am cooking for us. If you are cooking vegetarian, use vegetable stock cubes. Bring this to simmer gently, for 10 minutes, then take the pan off the heat, cool for 5 minutes before blitzing using a hand held blender. This is your asparagus stock.
Meanwhile, in a wide saute pan heat the oil and fry the neatly chopped onion over moderate heat – it shouldn’t turn colour – for 4-5 minutes. Then stir in the rice, stirring for a couple of minutes. The aim is to coat each grain of rice with oil. Add the white wine and let it simmer gently till the liquid is absorbed by the rice as you stir. Then add the asparagus stock, a ladle at a time – if you don’t have a ladle, use a mug to add the hot stock from its pan to the rice. Let the rice absorb the stock before adding more. Lastly, stir in the asparagus spears, the butter, salt and black pepper. Stir, cook for a couple of minutes then serve on warmed plates. If you like, serve grated parmesan cheese with the risotto.