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 the risotto is done and the asparagus is tender. Risotto is ready in about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the 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, and serve.