The start of spring doesn’t have to mean the end of soup season. With warmer temperatures come fresh asparagus, peas and artichokes—the farmer’s market in spring is a soup-lover’s paradise. So, don’t put away that warmer yet!
Personally, I’m a pretty huge fan of cream asparagus soup. Here’s a recipe that is simple to prepare (which means it’s open to improvisation/additions) and delicious. (If you’re looking for a more exotic take on asparagus soup, this well-reviewed recipe from Food52 is definitely worth a try.)
Cream of Asparagus Soup
- 2 pounds green asparagus (or, if you can find it, white asparagus)
- 1 cup green onions (or shallots), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Cut tips from 12 asparagus 1 1/2 inches from top. (Save for garnish.)
- Cut stalks and all remaining asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Cook green onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add asparagus pieces, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add 5 cups broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While soup simmers, cook remaining asparagus tips in boiling salted water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.
- Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (see cautionary note below). Transfer to a bowl, and return to pan. Stir in cream, then add more broth to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil and stir in remaining tablespoon butter.
- Add lemon juice and garnish with asparagus tips.
Optional “varsity team” augmentation: During step four, as an alternative to boiling, fry up a few strips of bacon, set aside, then saute the asparagus tips in the bacon fat. Use bacon as a final garnish with tips.
*Be very, very careful when blending hot liquids! Use much less liquid per blend. If you have a Vitamix, start at your lowest setting. Vent the lid so that steam can escape, covering the opening with a kitchen towel.