If you’re looking for lighter fare, this creamy asparagus soup from Once Upon a Chef is a great option. Made without heavy cream – just vegetables, broth, and a bit of Parmesan cheese, it’s puréed to silky perfection. It’s perfect for early spring when asparagus is in peak season and there’s still a chill in the air.
- 2 bunches asparagus (about 2¼ pounds), bottom ends trimmed
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
- ½ cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)
How to Make Creamy Asparagus Soup
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
- In the meantime, cut the tips off of one bunch of the asparagus and set aside (you’ll use those for a garnish). Cut the remaining spears and the other bunch of asparagus into ½-inch pieces.
- Add the chopped asparagus to the pot (minus the reserved tips), along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain the tips and then place them in a bowl of ice water to “shock” them — this stops the cooking process and preserves their bright green color. Once the tips are cool, drain them and set aside.
- Purée the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth. (Alternatively, use a standard blender to purée the soup in batches, then return the soup to the pot.) Bring the soup back to a simmer and stir in the lemon juice and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. To thicken the soup, allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the desired consistency is reached.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmigiano-Reggiano, herbs (if using), and freshly ground black pepper.