Asparagus Soup is the healthy yet rich and creamy soup of your dreams (made without any cream) that’s easy to make and stores beautifully!
This Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe is restaurant elegant, rich and creamy, yet made without any heavy cream or flour! It’s simple, make-ahead friendly, and can be served as a warm, cozy, comforting appetizer, light lunch or dinner without ANY guilt! This Asparagus Soup recipe is made by simmering asparagus with sautéed onions, garlic and broth, puréeing to rich and silky-smooth perfection, then elevating with nutty, freshly grated Parmesan, a touch of vibrant lemon juice, fresh dill, fresh basil (may sub dried), and a generous dose of Greek yogurt for a velvety finish. It’s a taste of spring in every spoonful and sure to be a crowd pleaser!
It’s a happy day when you can enjoy a soup that’s creamy and healthy. This Cream of Asparagus Soup joins my Cauliflower Soup and Butternut Squash Soup, as gorgeously rich and creamy soups without any cream. You can also enjoy “lightened up versions” of Potato Soup, Broccoli Soup and Tomato Soup!
Asparagus Soup Ingredients
This Asparagus Soup recipe is a wonderful way to take advantage of the abundance of asparagus in the springtime! Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make this recipe from scratch (full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post:
Cream of Asparagus Soup is a creamy, smooth and flavorful pureed soup that can be served hot or cold. It is especially popular in the springtime and can be served as a starter or as a main course.
The soup is typically made by simmering chopped asparagus in a broth or stock until tender, blending it until smooth, then stirring in a healthy dose of cream, milk, sour cream or Greek yogurt (we use Greek yogurt in this recipe to keep it guilt free!). This Asparagus Soup recipe is seasoned with aromatic onions, garlic, basil, dill, salt, pepper, lemon juice and Parmesan.
If you want to make the best Asparagus Soup, you need to start with the best fresh asparagus you can find! Look for thin to medium asparagus that are firm and straight and not limp and saggy. Avoid thick asparagus because they are often tough and woody and can make the soup stringy.
Asparagus should also be bright green with a small amount of white towards the base. The tips should be compact and firm instead of loose and starting to spread or sprout. When asparagus is going bad, the tips are the first indicator – they will turn a very dark green and will become mushy when touched.
The ends of asparagus are chewy and woody, so they need to be trimmed before cooking, otherwise your Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe will be unpleasantly stringy.
If you hold a piece of asparagus and bend it, the asparagus will naturally snap where the tough end begins. Instead of snapping the woody ends off of every piece of asparagus, I snap one piece, then line the asparagus up on a cutting board and chop off all the ends at this same snapped point. So, with just one snap and one long slice, all the asparagus are trimmed!
There are several creative ways to use the woody ends of asparagus instead of discarding them:
1. Make stock: Similar to making soup, you can use the woody asparagus ends to make a vegetable or chicken stock. The stock can be used as a base for soups, stews, or sauces.
2. Make asparagus tea: Boil the woody ends in water for 10-15 minutes and strain. The resulting liquid can be served as a hot tea or chilled for a refreshing cold beverage.
3. Compost: If you have a garden or access to a compost bin, you can add the woody asparagus ends to your compost. Asparagus ends are rich in nitrogen, which can help improve the quality of your compost.
4. Feed animals: If you have any pets or farm animals, they may enjoy the asparagus ends as a treat. Just make sure to remove any tough fibers before giving them to your pets.
1. The main reason Asparagus Soup can become stringy is the asparagus are too thick or the tough, fibrous woody ends of the asparagus aren’t removed all of the way.
2. Another possible reason for stringy Asparagus Soup is overcooking the asparagus or cooking it at too high of a temperature. Overcooking can cause the fibers in the asparagus to break down and become stringy. To avoid this, try cooking the asparagus for a shorter amount of time or at a lower temperature.
3. Finally, the stringiness could be due to the method of blending or pureeing the soup. If the soup is not blended thoroughly, the stringy fibers may not be broken down completely, resulting in a stringy texture. Try blending the soup in a high-powered blender to ensure that the soup is smooth and free of stringy bits. If you’ve already blended the soup and it’s still stringy, you can strain it through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining fibers.
This Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe shouldn’t be bitter when using fresh, medium asparagus. Here are the guidelines to follow:
1. Trim the asparagus properly: The tough, woody ends of the asparagus can contribute to the bitter taste. Be sure to trim and discard the ends before using the asparagus in the soup.
2. Fully cook the asparagus: Cooking the asparagus in simmering broth breaks down some of the compounds that contribute to the bitter taste.
3. Use aromatics: Adding aromatics like onions, garlic, or shallots can help to enhance the flavor of the soup and reduce the bitterness of the asparagus.
4. Balance with acid: Adding a bit of acid, such as lemon juice or white wine vinegar, can help to balance out the bitterness of the asparagus. Just be careful not to add too much, as this can make the soup overly tart. Start with a small amount and taste as you go.
How to Make Asparagus Soup
The prep work is minimal for this Cream of Asparagus Soup with restaurant worthy results! Here’s how to make this recipe with step-by-step photos (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
Step 1: Sweat the Onions
Step 2: Simmer the Soup
Step 3: Puree the Soup
Step 4: Add Parmesan and Herbs
Step 5: Add lemon juice and Greek Yogurt
WHAT to serve with Creamy Asparagus Soup
This homemade Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe can be a meal all in itself, or it can be served as a side to a main protein or sandwiches. Try serving it with:
Tools Used in This Recipe
Cream of Asparagus Soup
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- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 bunches asparagus (about 2 pounds) woody ends discarded, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (may sub vegetable broth)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, dried thyme
- 1 TBS EACH minced fresh dill, minced fresh basil (may sub 1 tsp EACH dried)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup 2% or full fat Greek yogurt (do not use fat free or it's likely to curdle)
- Add the asparagus, chicken broth, salt, pepper and dried thyme. If using dried dill and/or basil, add now; if using fresh, hold for later. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 35-45 minutes, or until the asparagus is very tender.
- Working in batches, transfer the soup to a high powered blender and puree until smooth, being careful to let smoke escape or it will explode (I remove the fill cap and cover with a paper towel). ***Using a blender will give you a MUCH smoother, creamier soup than an immersion blender, but you may use an immersion blender if you wish.
- Transfer the pureed soup back to the pot and turn heat to low. Add the Parmesan, followed by the fresh herbs; stir until the Parmesan has melted. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice until smooth, followed by the Greek yogurt.
- Season to taste with additional salt/pepper/lemon juice etc. If you'd like the soup thinner, stir in additional broth. Serve warm.
- Reserve some asparagus tips for garnish: This is optional, but I like to reserve some asparagus tips, blanch them for a couple minutes, then transfer to a water bath so they stop cooking and retain their vibrant color.
- Choose fresh, thin or medium asparagus: Fresh asparagus will give your soup a bright, vibrant flavor. Look for stalks that are firm and bright green and thin to medium in thickness for the best flavor and texture. Thicker asparagus have a tendency to become stingy when pureed.
- Discard the woody tough ends: Bend the asparagus and discard the woody ends at the snapping point. If you don’t discard all of the tough ends, the soup will be stringy, even after pureeing.
- Don’t overcook the asparagus: Cook the asparagus until tender, but not beyond that. Overcooking asparagus can cause it to lose its flavor.
- Use fresh aromatics: While powders are a usually great shortcut, onion powder does not work in this recipe. We need fresh onions because their natural sweetness is enhanced as they are sweated until softened.
- Use higher fat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt works best in this recipe because it’s much thicker than regular yogurt. You’ll need to use either 2% or full-fat Greek yogurt for the richest, creamiest soup. Low-fat Greek yogurt will curdle and the soup won’t become as creamy.
- To store and reheat: Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The soup can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then gently reheat on the stove.
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