Heat the chicken broth in a small saucepan until it’s warm. You don’t want it boiling; just bring it to a slow simmer.
In the meantime, melt two tablespoons butter in a 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat.
Add in the shallots and cook for a minute or two, or until translucent.
Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
Stir in the arborio rice; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until coated in butter and lightly toasted.
Add the lemon juice and stir it in.
Add ½ cup chicken broth to the rice and continue to stir until the liquid is almost all absorbed.
Add more of the chicken broth in ½ cup increments, stirring after each addition.
As soon as the broth is all absorbed, add the next ½ cup of broth.
When you get to the last ½ cup of broth, add in the asparagus pieces, then stir in the last ½ cup of broth. Continue to cook for 2 more minutes, or until risotto is done and asparagus is tender. Risotto is ready in about 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender and the consistency is like a thick porridge.
Remove from heat.
Gently stir in the parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon butter.
Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Add more lemon if you like a more citrusy taste.
Garnish with black pepper, chopped parsley, and lemon zest.