Creamy Asparagus Soup

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Spring here means strawberries and rhubarb, sweet peas and asparagus, and dreams of the summer bounty to come. Asparagus are everywhere, big, fat, and fresh. And yes, although we can get them all year round, I’m especially happy to eat them in Spring.

Not only are they likely to have been grown in the same Hemisphere, and could even be local, their very abundance signals the renewal of the season and a good-bye to Winter. Here is a fresh and easy asparagus soup recipe, a perfect excuse to buy more than one bunch.

Creamy Asparagus Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.


  • 2 lbs asparagus, trimmed of woody stem bottoms
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • Leaves of 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp dry vermouth
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


1 Cut tips from the asparagus 1 1/2 inches from top and halve tips lengthwise if thick. Reserve for garnish. Chop the remaining asparagus stalks into 1/4-inch rounds.

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2 Melt the butter in a 4 to 5 quart pot on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped asparagus (not the spear tips) to the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 5 minutes.

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3 Add the broth, water, and thyme to the pot. Increase the heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, until the asparagus are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of cooking, stir in the chopped parsley.

4 While the soup is cooking, blanche the asparagus tips in a small pot of boiling, salted water (about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt per quart of water), until the tips are just tender, about 2-4 minutes, depending on the size of the asparagus. Drain. Rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

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5 Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. (If you use an upright blender, work in small batches, fill no more than a third the blender bowl at a time, and hold down the lid while blending.) For a creamy texture, if you want, press the puréed soup through a sieve or food mill. Stir in the cream. Stir in the vermouth and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with asparagus tips.

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Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet magazine (March 2001).

Showing 4 of 52 Comments

  • Rene

    Just made this soup. It was perfect, but no surprise: I know I can always count on your recipes to be delicious.

  • The Coupon Cook

    I am loving this recipe! I have a four-year-old who doesn’t care for asparagus in spear form (he says it looks like a Power Ranger sword and therefore, can’t eat it!). So, I have been looking for ways to get him to eat it without the fuss! He ate two bowls of this yesterday and asked for more for breakfast this morning! It is a hit! I would love to feature this on my blog with a cost breakdown, with your permission of course! Thanks for this recipe!

  • Judy

    I would add celery and a bag of baby spinach. The spinach should be add at the end of the cooking cycle.

  • Justin S.

    I made the soup last night as an appetizer course for some pasta, and it turned out very well!! The only question I have for future attempts is how much lemon juice do you recommend using. You say a squeeze in your recipe, so I squeezed in about half a lemon’s worth. I tried the soup, adjusted the seasonings, and decided the lemon wasn’t coming through enough. I then squeezed maybe another half a tablespoon’s worth, and tried, and was good, but then I thought maybe it’s too lemony. I like that, but it may not be to others’ taste. So, for the future, what do you recommend on how much lemon juice to add, and how lemony/citrusy should it be? Thanks!

    P.S. I used local farmer’s market asparagus, and that does make the difference in flavor. Peru won’t do!

    Well the problem with giving an exact amount of lemon juice with something like this is that 1) the degree of lemony flavor you want is really a matter of taste, and 2) individual lemons vary in their intensity of acidity and flavor. So, just squeeze in as much as tastes good to you. ~Elise

  • mike

    This soup sounds great – but can I use white wine instead of vermouth and would it still taste similar? Also what could we use instead of cream?

    You can skip the vermouth if you want. As for skipping the cream, you might want to add some potato starch to give the soup a little more body. ~Elise

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