Creamy Asparagus Soup

Want more vibrant green in the soup? Stir in a handful of chopped baby spinach in step 5 with the parsley.

Make sure to use heavy cream or full-fat sour cream, or the soup may curdle. Cooking light? Skip the cream all together.

The vermouth really makes this soup shine. If you don't have any, try adding a 1/4 cup of white wine to the pot after you sauté the onions and garlic. Let it bubble up and reduce by half before adding the asparagus. Otherwise skip.

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

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs asparagus, trimmed of woody stem bottoms
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, or 1 Tbsp minced green garlic
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or full-fat sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)

Method

1 Cut asparagus tips and reserve, cut the rest of asparagus into 1/4-inch rounds: Cut tips from the asparagus 1 1/2 inches from top and reserve. Chop the rest of the asparagus stalks into 1/4-inch rounds.

2 Sauté onions, garlic: 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 garlic (or green garlic) and cook a minute more.

3 Add asparagus: Add the chopped asparagus (not the spear tips) to the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 5 minutes.

4 Add the broth, water, thyme sprigs and bay leaf to the pot. Increase the heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, until the asparagus are tender, about 10 minutes.

5 At the end of cooking, stir in the chopped parsley.

6 Blanch asparagus tips: While the soup is cooking, blanche the asparagus tips in a small pot of boiling, salted 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.

7 Purée the soup: Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Use either an immersion blender or an upright blender (working in batches) to purée the soup. 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.

8 Stir in cream, vermouth, lemon juice: Stir in the cream (or full-fat sour cream). Stir in the vermouth and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with asparagus tips.

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Comments

  • Margaret

    Do you think full fat yogurt can be substituted for the heavy cream or sour cream?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Margaret! I think the flavor would end up more tangy, but I think it would still be pretty darn good. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!

  • jessi

    This soup looks so delicious in that picture!!!! Have to try making it soon. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!!!

  • Joanna Lyn Firestone

    With nearly four pounds of asparagus on hand (my favorite veggie) I was eager to try this recipe, and followed it as written. I found it bland. I doubled the sour cream, added quite a bit more salt and pepper, and then a blast of dill. It’s satisfactory, and I will incorporate my changes if I make it again.

  • Taste of France

    It’s insane how asparagus is THE vegetable around here. As my husband says, if you don’t want asparagus, you have to really work to avoid it. However, we have gotten into a rut about how we prepare it, and this is a good alternative. Sounds yummy!

  • Chad

    My asparagus crowns are now three years old. and are giving us our first gifts. We had to let them alone the last two years. This soup might come in handy in years to come. Another twenty plants will be joining the group next year. Forty crowns will drive us crazy I hope.

  • Jim Swinden

    Prepared this recipe yesterday for some guests I had in for an early Easter dinner and it got the WOW factor from all. Great recipe love it will be making it again soon as where I live the asparagus is coming into season so it young and tender.

  • 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! 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.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Judy, the last time I made it I added a handful of chopped baby spinach. I loved it! Great way to get even more greens into the soup. Thank you for the suggestion!

  • 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!

  • Michele

    My asparagus bed is producing so heavily right now I am harvesting daily!I do not care for frozen asparagus but love the soup recipe and would like to ‘can’ it for winter use. Does it ‘can’ well, and if so what is the processing time?
    Michele

  • Randy Winkler

    Just got my first crop of asparagus out of the garden. Today is a rainy day, and asparagus soup is on the menu. Looks like a great one and I will let you know in a later posting. I have an acre of asparagus, and my first “official” picking was 17 pounds. If anyone is in the Gillett, WI area mention you are a member of Simply Recipes and I will give you a 50% discount. I sell it for $2.00 a pound, so that would be $1.00 for you. Happy Cooking.

  • Stephanie Manley

    Love, love, love the vermouth in here. I think it takes this soup straight over the edge!

  • Joyce

    I really enjoyed the soup. I got a great deal on asparagus at a local farm (a big bag of blemished ones for $1), but I wasn’t sure what to do with my find. Then this recipe popped into my inbox and viola soup it is! I really loved it. I didn’t have vermouth, so I skipped it. It makes me wonder what other vegetables might work well in this soup base – perhaps greens/spinach, broccoli, I guess I’ll have to experiment.

  • Suzy

    I did serve it cold. It was terrific. Very refreshing and delicious.

  • Ed

    This is probably one of the easiest and tastiest soups I’ve ever made. If you’re thinking about trying it, I’d suggest doubling the recipe, this goes fast!

  • suzy

    Can this soup be served cold?

    Possibly. I’ve only had it hot. ~Elise

  • Brenda

    My husband made this for me Monday (he knows how much I enjoy asparagus), had left overs for lunch Tuesday and now again today. The soup is just as good today, if not better, than it was on Monday. Thank You for the post.

  • Warren

    Bought the first of the local asparagus off the farm nearby this morning and and eating the soup now. Soooo good. This is my go to recepie. Use it every year.

  • Sue

    This is somewhat like I make it, but I use the trim ends to the point where the sharp knife will no longer cut through it. I cook it down in the same water in which I cooked the trimmed asparagus until it is softened. Then I whir it in my VitaMix until completely pureed. You could probably do this in a food processor as well. Pour into a pan and make the additions to the soup as per called for (or what ever is in your fridge.) Love this soup and it so good for you.

  • CARMELA

    I cooked a creamy asparagus soup some weeks ago but I added some pasta. I think using dry vermouth is a very nice idea so next time I’ll add this ingredient to the soup. ; )

  • dan

    vermouth? that’s a surprising one.
    I make a killer cream of asparagus that doesn’t use cream, or any dairy. Here’s how to do it:
    I saute the asparagus with garlic, lots of it, whole pieces lightly crushed. When it’s almost done, I add zest from one lemon and some lemon juice then just let it cool off.
    Then I saute potatoes chopped in small cubes (half an inch let’s say) with butter and onion. I add laddles of vegetable broth, similar to making a risoto. This develops the starch in the potatos, so when they’re done you also get a very cream potato soup y liquid.
    Then I simply mix the asparagus, potatoes and vegetable broth and mix with the hand-helod blender. My wife always asks if I’m sure there’s no cream in it (not that there’s anything wrong with cream…)

  • Marie

    I’ve made your recipe half a dozen times since I stumbled upon it this past spring. I was shocked at how much the vermouth brought the flavor of the soup together! Without the vermouth, the soup is just ok. After adding the vermouth… the soup is fantastic! Great recipe!

  • ACG

    When HEAVY CREAM is mentioned, does that mean DOUBLE CREAM?

    Good question. I’m guessing yes, but I don’t really know. Heavy cream is what we have here in the states. I suggest doing an internet search for what the difference might be. ~Elise

  • Cheryl

    I have made this soup several times delicious. I made to the part of adding the cream and have frozen it. Great over the winter for spring soup. I have also made it with the heavy cream and fat free half and half. If you freeze it just add the cream when reheating

  • Paul

    An impulse purchase of a 2.5 kg (5½ lbs) bag of mixed Asparagus from our local Suffolk grower has prompted me , an inexperience cook , to ask about making my favourite soup as per your delicious sounding recipe and then freezing it . Should I leave out the cream ( or any other ingredient )and add it/them when the defrozen soup is heated up for eating later ?

    Great question. I honestly don’t know as I rarely, if ever, freeze soups. ~Elise

  • Gayane

    Elise,

    Can the vermouth be substituted with sherry or cooking wine? I don’t even know the difference.

    You can use dry sherry. I don’t recommend any wine that is marketed for the purpose of cooking. Or just skip it if you don’t have any. ~Elise

  • ruen

    I saw this recipe and knew I just HAD to try it out, being a huge fan of asparagus and soup (a win-win combo for me). Following the advice of some commenters, I threw in the ends of the asparagus (the “woody” parts) into a pot of chicken stock and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped up the rest of my veggies and softened the onions then asparagus as per the instructions (make sure to discard the asparagus ends from the stock before adding it to the veggies). I tossed in a bay leaf with all of that while it simmered for 15 min. Removed the leaf before pureeing it all, portioned off about half for freezing (do this before adding the cream) then put the rest back in the pot. I used half&half instead of heavy cream and didn’t use the vermouth at all. It was delicious and better than I imagined–make this soup even more delicious by topping it with some shredded cheese and having some crunchy bread on the side. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Rick

    I made the soup as instructed, though I used a dash of dry white wine instead of vermouth. One big caution….let the soup cool a bit before pouring into the blender for puree-ing. (Step 4) I cracked my blender jar when I poured in the hot soup. Made a big mess….

    Now have to call Black & Decker for a replacement.

    Salvaged the majority of the soup, but it was a bit more chunky than desired. Luckily my fiancee is tolerant of kitchen mistakes….

  • Annette

    In order to make a vegan version of this soup, I replaced the heavy cream with about 2 Tbsp Tofutti cream cheese and 1/3 cup Tofutti sour cream. I also omitted the vermouth because we don’t keep that on hand. It was delicious, the best part of our Thanksgiving meal!

  • intensive_purposes

    This was my first time making a creamy soup on my own, and it turned out quite good. Things I changed: halved the butter in the beginning, skipped the vermouth and lemon juice, and used italian seasoning (which contains thyme) instead of fresh thyme since that’s what I had on hand. I also don’t know if I had a full two pounds of asparagus (just grabbed a bunch in the store without weighing it, and I discarded the woody ends without knowing if that was correct to do). Anyway, it turned out delicious and was easy to make.

    I wish it were lower in fat though–over 70 percent of the calories in this soup come from fat. Going with some alternative to heavy cream might help if you are worried about this, or skipping the butter in the beginning.

  • carol

    This is a lovely soup and tastes much more complex than it is. We are great soup eaters, and this ranks right up there. I often freeze cream soups with fine results. I second the motion of DO NOT TRY TO CAN THIS – it would be courting food poisoning.

  • Denisse Martinez

    This is a great recipe, I loved it!
    I cooked it for my cooking class one time but I also added a few chopped walnuts which I think made it taste a little different and good.

  • Lori

    This is an excellent recipe! I used soy milk instead of cream and it still turned out yummy.

  • becky

    This is my first time commenting here, although I’ve run across this site a few times in the past. Very delicious soup! I cut it in half since I only had one bunch of asparagus (which, by the way, were clearly marked “Product of Peru”, even though it’s spring – haha!). The only changes I made were to leave out the vermouth, since I had none, and to toss in a few chopped button mushrooms that needed to be used with the onion. I would recommend using an immersion blender–handy in keeping the dishes to a minimum. :) Thanks for a great recipe, I trusted this site with my first time making asparagus soup and was not disappointed.

  • souper

    This soup is simply wonderful; I tried this after making the creamy sweet potato soup, which was equally spellbinding.

  • Pat

    This is one of my favorite soups. I love this recipe.

  • dan

    What are “woody” ends?

    The end that is not the spear tip. Often the last inch or so is white and very tough. ~Elise

  • Dorothy Smith

    Was so happy to find this receipe. It turned out great. We raise our own asparagus so have plenty to eat all the time.

    Thankyou

  • Patty

    Sounds great. Do you think this can be made the day before and kept in the fridge? How about freezing it?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Patty, I’ve made it a day ahead and reheated without a problem. Tastes great! I haven’t tried freezing it yet.

  • Janet

    I skipped the vermouth and used regular cream instead of heavy cream. It was delicious. This is very easy to make, glad I found the recipe.

  • Bradford

    I was wondering if I could substitute creme fraiche for the cream, would that greatly alter the taste too much? I am trying to keep my cholesterol down! Recipe sounds amazing….will def give it a try! Thank you

  • frank

    I just made some and tried it, although I forgot the thyme and I didn’t have vermouth, and I used regular cream instead of heavy. Still quite yummy :o). Yay asparagus season.

  • Elise

    Hi Sam and Adrienne,
    You can skip the vermouth all together if you want.

  • Sandi

    Fabulous!!! I roasted the aparagus before adding to the both. Delicious. This recipe is quick and easy

  • Adrienne

    Can any other alcohol be substituted for the vermouth? I have some vodka… Recipe will be great without it I am sure. Yum!

  • Sam

    This looks absolutely delicious. Just wondering, is there anything nonalcoholic I can substitute for the vermouth?

  • Diane

    For a healthy snack, I cook asparagus just for 3-4 minutes, then rinse them in cold water. Put the spears in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and add some salt. Keep in the refrigerator so when you want something to eat but don’t know what, have a nice cold, crispy, delicious asparagus spear!

  • Kalyn

    It sounds like such a great recipe. I bet this is as good as the asparagus soup I recently had at a very expensive restaurant!

    I have a very faithful 80 year old reader and after he noticed I’m eating so much asparagus lately, he sent me the same tip Kevin gave in his comment, saving the woody ends and making asparagus “stock,” . I thought that was so sweet.

  • Cary

    I love vermouth in soups…it is my secret ingredient in chicken noodle or rice, it’s always on hand and doesn’t go bad like wine will!

  • kevin

    Elise,
    I save up all the woody ends of asparagus in the freezer during asparagus season and then when it’s nearly over, use them to make an initial stock for asparagus soup. I discard them after making the stock and then proceed as you do, albeit using a different recipe.