Creamy Asparagus Soup

When Spring arrives, one of the first vegetables to flood the markets are asparagus.  We are devoted asparagus fans over here, and I like to switch up the preparations so we can enjoy it all season long, and never feel like we’re eating the same thing on repeat.  This spring soup is one of my latest asparagus recipes, and a lovely way to start a meal, or even hold center stage paired with some sort of bread and a simple salad.

Asparagus Soup

Ingredients for Vegetarian Asparagus Soup

This is a short ingredient list, and it can get even shorter if you want!  Asparagus, of course, and onions for flavor, broth to make it soup, and some version of cream to give the soup lushness and body.  A bit of thyme, fresh or dried, brings a nice herbal note (try other herbs as well, especially if you have other fresh herbs on hand).

The celery is not a necessary component of the soup (it adds a bit of dimension and freshness, though) and the potato adds some creaminess, but is also not critical.  If you want the soup to be vegetarian, make sure to use vegetarian broth.

Asparagus Soup

Thickness of Asparagus for Soup

Thin asparagus is best for soup because the skin of the stalks isn’t as tough as it can be on thicker stalks and the whole thing will puree up easier. 

But you can use thicker asparagus in this soup; just make sure to peel the lower half of the stems.  The skin might be thick, but underneath the asparagus is perfectly tender, so if you are willing to spend a few minutes peeling off the tough skins you will be rewarded with a silky soup.  Make sure to cook the asparagus until it is super soft, which will allow it to puree into a smooth soup.

Freezing Asparagus Soup

Soups with a cream base tend to separate when they are defrosted and heated.  So, if you know you want to freeze some or all of this soup, consider doing so before you add the cream.  Just transfer the desired amount into a freezer proof container, leaving between ¼ and ½-inch of space between the top of the soup and the lid (it will expand as it freezes). 

Freeze, then defrost in the fridge overnight, and reheat in a pot over medium heat, adding the cream at the end and making sure the whole thing heats through.

Asparagus Soup

How to Make Asparagus Soup

Trim off the bottom inch of the asparagus stalks, or any amount that seems woody, and discard.  Peel the bottoms if the asparagus is thick (see above). Place about half of the asparagus in a line and trim off the top 1-inch of the tips.  Set those aside.   Cut the rest of the asparagus spears into 2-inch pieces.

Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly golden.  Add the thyme, potatoes, and broth.  Turn the heat to high, bring the soup to a simmer, add the asparagus, then lower the heat and partially cover the pot (place the lid on the pot so that there is about a 1-inch gap for steam to escape, but so the soup is mostly covered so the liquid doesn’t evaporate too quickly).   Simmer the soup until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.  

Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus tips and run them under cold water to stop the cooking.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender in the pot, or in batches in a food processor or blender.  If the soup doesn’t seem silky smooth enough, you can pass it through a mesh strainer, pressing the soup through discarding any solids that are strained out.  Return the soup to the pot, if necessary, add the cream, and heat over medium heat.   Taste and adjust seasonings as you like.  

Asparagus Soup

When the soup is hot throughout (don’t let it come to a boil!), serve in bowls garnished with Parmesan and the blanched asparagus tips.  Top with a bit of additional freshly ground pepper, if desired. 

Asparagus Soup: This creamy soup is a terrific way to showcase one of the most lovable vegetables of spring in a slurpable way.

Asparagus Soup

What to Serve with Asparagus Soup:

A Spring Menu:

Asparagus Soup

Other Asparagus Recipes:

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Asparagus Soup

This creamy soup is a terrific way to showcase one of the most lovable vegetables of spring in a slurpable way.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds thin asparagus
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions , chopped
  • 2 stalks celery , sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 small potato , peeled and diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth , preferably less-sodium
  • 1 cup light or heavy cream or half-and-half
  • Freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Directions

  • Trim off the bottom inch of the asparagus stalks, or any amount that seems woody, and discard. Place about half of the asparagus in a line and trim off the top 1-inch of the tips. Set those aside. Cut the rest of the asparagus spears into 2-inch pieces.
  • Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly golden. Add the thyme, potatoes, and broth. Turn the heat to high, bring the soup to a simmer, add the asparagus, then lower the heat and partially cover the pot (place the lid on the pot so that there is about a 1-inch gap for steam to escape, but so the soup is mostly covered so the liquid doesn’t evaporate too quickly). Simmer the soup until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the reserved asparagus tips into a small saucepan with ½ cup water. Cover the pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat, simmer for 1 minute, then drain the asparagus tips in a strainer or colander, and run them under very cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  • Puree the soup with an immersion blender in the pot, or in batches in a food processor or blender. If the soup doesn’t seem silky smooth enough, you can pass it through a mesh strainer, pressing the soup through discarding any solids that are strained out. Return the soup to the pot, if necessary, add the cream, and heat over medium heat. Taste and adjust seasonings as you like.
  • When the soup is hot throughout (don’t let it come to a boil!), serve in bowls garnished with Parmesan and the blanched asparagus tips. Top with a bit of additional freshly ground pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 630mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1600IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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