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May 24, 2010

Recipe for asparagus soup

Asparagus soup, delicious hot or cold. 

Last week I made my first pilgrimage of the season to our local asparagus farm, where I can go right into the sorting room and select thin, medium or chubby asparagus, depending on what I'm planning to cook. For this soup, I went with medium spears. They were picked the morning I bought them, so apart from a slight trim at the end, they needed no peeling or other preparation. Some of the asparagus went into the freezer, for future soups with a farm-fresh flavor, and some of the cooked soup also went into the freezer. It's quite rich as is, but you can add a bit of heavy cream or Greek yogurt just before serving, to make it even more decadent. (My photography skills don't do justice to the bright green color of this soup, so you'll have to make it to see it. You will be dazzled. Trust me.)

Asparagus soup

Serves 10; recipe can be halved. Use vegetable stock or water to make this a vegetarian soup. The finished soup can be frozen.


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
3 lbs asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried thyme
1-1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
Pinch of urfa pepper or red pepper flakes (optional), or to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Heavy cream or Greek yogurt (optional)


In a stock pot, heat the oil over low-medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 2 minutes, until translucent but not browning. Add the potatoes and asparagus, stir, and cook for 2-3 minutes, just to get them started. Toss in the thyme leaves and cook for 1 minute, then add the broth. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife.

Remove the pot from heat, and purée with an immersion blender (or in batches, in a stand blender) until smooth. Season with a pinch of urfa pepper or red pepper flakes, if desired, and plenty of kosher salt and black pepper, to taste. Before serving, you can stir in a bit of heavy cream or Greek yogurt. I never do, but it's fine with me if you want to try it.

Serve hot, or chill for several hours (or up to 3 days) and serve cold.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Judy | May 24, 2010 at 11:14 PM

Oh, my! This sounds - and looks - so delicious! I must see if I can find an asparagus farm - but if not, I will make this anyway! It will be a good reason to try the Urfa peppers I ordered from Zingerman's - I can't wait.

Posted by: Karina | May 25, 2010 at 01:06 PM

Asparagus soup! So beautiful. I love green soups- especially if they aren't pea soup ;-).

Posted by: Ted Chaloner | May 25, 2010 at 04:44 PM

I ran into old neighbor Lou on Tremont St in Boston's South End yesterday. He told me he made this soup and loved it!

Posted by: Terry at Blue Kitchen | May 26, 2010 at 05:40 PM

You apologized for your photography skills, Lydia, but I was struck by the beauty of the shot. Sounds delicious! And I'm envious of your asparagus farm.

Posted by: Lydia | May 26, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Judy, I'm so excited that you're trying urfa pepper. A pinch was just delicious in this soup (and try it in scrambled eggs, too).

Karina, pea soups aren't my favorite of the green soups. This soup might be up at the top of the list.

Ted, how sweet. Haven't seen Lou for years but I'm delighted that he's a Soup Chick fan.

Terry, you are so kind. I drive 45 minutes each way to the asparagus farm, but it's absolutely worth it. And what I learned is that I can freeze the asparagus -- I'd never done that before last year -- and it retains all of the bright flavor, though the texture after being frozen is not the same.

Posted by: Liz | May 31, 2011 at 02:57 PM

I made this last night, and then crossed my four-year-old daughter is not a fan of anything green, and so far she doesn't like steamed asparagus - but she LOVED this soup! I added a good amount of heavy cream to her bowl, she slurped it down and then spent the rest of the night (and this morning) telling me how much she liked it. She's excited that we're having the leftovers again for dinner tonight! Thank you so much for giving me a way to get some green vegetables into her!

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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