Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

asparagus-soup

Smooth, mild and gently flavored with lemon and Parmesan, this asparagus soup tastes wonderfully luxurious. No heavy cream is added for a change — just vegetables, broth and a hint of cheese purĂ©ed to silky perfection.  I like to serve it with a crusty bread for lunch or a light dinner, especially right now while asparagus is in peak season and there’s still a chill in the air.

Begin by cooking the onions and garlic in butter until soft.

While that’s going, prep the asparagus. Trim off the tips (you’ll use them for a garnish), then cut the remaining spears into 1/2-inch pieces.

Add the chopped asparagus to the pot, along with the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.

Purée the soup with a hand held immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, you can blend the soup in batches in a blender.

I like to pass the soup through a fine sieve because asparagus is very fibrous. If you use a standard blender to purée the soup, this may not be necessary, but my immersion blender leaves too many fibers behind. It only takes a few minutes and makes a big difference in the end result. The most efficient way is to use a ladle to push the soup in circular motions through a strainer into a large bowl.

Return the soup to the pot and stir in the fresh lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese.

Finally, cook the asparagus tips in boiling water until tender-crisp.

The best way to preserve the bright green color of the tips and keep them crisp is to shock them in an ice bath, but this is probably only worth it if you’re entertaining. Otherwise, just refresh the tips under cold water.

Finally, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the asparagus tips, fresh herbs, more Parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper if desired.

Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

Print Recipe
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus (about 2-1/4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, cut the tips off of the asparagus spears and set aside. Cut the remaining spears into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. Add the chopped asparagus (except for the tips) to the pot, along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are very tender.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes until tender-crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water or in an ice bath. Set aside.
  5. 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.) If necessary, pass the soup through a fine sieve to remove the fibers (the best way is to place the sieve over a large bowl, then use a ladle to push the soup through in circular motions). Return the soup to the pot and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the lemon juice and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if desired (you may need up to a teaspoon more salt).
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, fresh chopped herbs, more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and freshly ground black pepper if desired.
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  • Love the idea of eating asparagus like this!

  • I love asparagus soup! I had it on a cruise ship last year and thought it was delicious. I love the idea of the ice bath to keep the bright green color. Great recipe and thanks for sharing!

  • Your recipees are wonderful! Our family made the steakhouse burgers and we all decided they were the best we had ever tasted!
    Thank you so much!
    Lori

    • Jenn

      That is so nice to hear, Lori. Thank you!

  • This soup looks perfect for spring! I can’t wait to try it!

  • Erin

    What is the serving size?

    • Jenn

      Hey Erin, It serves 4-6. Hope you like it!

  • I made this Asparagus soup last night and it is absolutely delicious!!

  • Ann

    Yummo! Looking for a pin tab so I can remember to make this (?)

  • Melissa

    I just made this soup and it was absolutely wonderful! It was so rich for not using cream! Thanks for the great idea/directions

  • Annie Cowing

    We just made this soup to day and my son and I had two helpings each! I love it – it is the perfect recipe and I pinned it. I just plopped the whole asparagus in in little pieces and left out the part where you add the tips later. just to save time. Just smooth and great. Leo asked me to make it again already. He is eight.

  • Kelly S

    Jenn – I made this last night, and we loved it. I served the leftovers to Tracy and my parents this afternoon and everyone said it was delicious! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  • Claudine

    I made this soup for dinner last night…It was so delicious!. My husband had 3 bowls! I can’t wait to make it again!

  • Joy

    The asparagus soup is divine! A really good chicken broth makes a huge difference. I made it first with a low sodium broth from Albertsons, great! Then again with one from Trader Joes and I am sorry to report that
    it was not nearly as good, all other ingredients were identical. Trader Joes rarely disappoints. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  • I just found your blog and love, love, love it!! So many recipes I want to try, starting with this one! I love that it doesn’t use any cream :-)

  • Kelly

    I can’t wait to try this.

  • Lisabika24

    I Love this Asparagus Soup…almost ate it all by myself!! shared very little….

  • Carole G

    This soup was quite good as long as you make sure to add the parmesan. Also I assed bits of leftover ham and that enhanced the “helft” factor.

  • Robyn Coffey

    I made this soup over the weekend and have to make some more – delicious!

  • Susan M

    I have made this soup just about every week while the asparagus are in season. Delish!

  • Cynthia

    Yum! What another great way to add more vegetables to dinner – this is unbelievably creamy and delicious!

    Since I’m in the market for my first immersion blender, is there a brand that you would recommend? Thanks!

    • Jenn

      Hi Cynthia, I have a Cuisinart immersion blender and love it.

  • Ellen

    This recipe looks absolutely fantastic! I’ve been looking for vegetarian friendly recipes for entertaining some non-meat eaters. Yum!

  • Kate

    I made this soup last week also using a Cuisinart immersion blender. It pureed the asparagus to silk and I did not have to strain (although this was only the third time I had used the blender, so the blades are still fresh). It is called the Cuisinart Smart Stick with 200-watt motor.

    Sadly, I just finished the last of the soup for lunch today. I can’t wait to make it again!

  • Patty F.

    Sublime! Perfect for May in DC as asparagus is all over the farmers markets!

  • Regina

    This soup is superb. I loved it so much the first time I made it that I made it again the following week– double batch. Shared with neighbors who also think it is divine.

  • Donna

    We love this recipe. It’s creamy but not heavy, and the flavor is wonderful. Easy to make and delicious!

  • Sally

    We have tons of asparagus in season right now and this is one of the best recipes I’ve found. I had my mother-in-law over for dinner the other night and she raved about this soup. I loved that it was so simple and easy to make!

  • Erin McNamara

    This has become my favorite soup! I have made it three times already and has become a staple in the lunch that I bring to work! I can’t say enough good things about it. I especially love that there is no cream yet it is so creamy. I’ve shared it with numerous people and they all love it too.

  • Would roasting the asparagus bring out more of the asparagus flavor? Would you recommend that?

    • Jenn

      Hi Elisa, In most cases I agree that it’d be best to roast or grill asparagus to bring out the flavor but I wouldn’t do it for this recipe. It can get a little oily when prepared that way, and blanching the asparagus keeps the flavor clean, which works nicely with the creamy vinaigrette. Hope that helps!

  • Andrew

    This was a tasty soup and a great healthy dish. I ended up with way too many asparagus tips so ended up just snacking on them the next day.

  • I made this soup and served it cold (after conferring with Jenn) for my niece’s shower. It was a total hit!

  • jane

    Sorry to say that I did not care for this. My husband and son ended up eating it after they stirred back in the leftovers from my carefully pressed asparagus. This batch of asparagus was crisp and fresh, but the combination of the lemon and the Parmesan was a bit tangy. Maybe I was too conservative on the herbs and garlic? Willing to give it another try with suggestions…

    • Jenn

      Hi Jane, Sorry the soup didn’t work out. You might try leaving out the lemon if it is too tangy for you.

  • Susan

    Hi Jenn,

    Thanks for the recipe. Can you tell me if the soup can be frozen? Much obliged.

    • Jenn

      Hi Susan, Yes it’s fine to freeze this soup; it will hold up a little better if you add the cheese after you defrost.

  • I’ve been searching for an asparagus soup recipe without the cream…not an easy task. I’ll definitely give yours a try. Thank you.
    Teresa

  • Candace

    This was absolutely delicious! I did not have onions or chicken broth. So I substituted with Vegetable broth and lots of onion powder. I also only had one bunch so I just cut your ingredients in half and it turned out so great. I will definitely be making this again!

  • Joe

    Didn’t even have all of the ingredients and it was still awesome. Had to use lime instead of lemon and had no garlic so I used Adobe and it still tasted perfect. FYI if you are using a ninja to blend let soup cool a little bit before blending and don’t fill beyond half.

  • PaulainVA

    I’ve been looking for a good asparagus soup recipe for ages. This is simple, but the flavors are complex. I garnished with fresh dill, and substituted Grana Padana cheese for the Parm-Reg.

  • Kathleen French-Wilson

    I love this asparagus soup. Looking forward to fresh asparagus season.

  • Carolyn

    Just made this soup using frozen asparagus and have to say this soup is amazing.

  • MsLola

    I just made this soup, I used beef broth because I was out of chicken broth, it’s absolutely delicious!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Alison

    I’m trying to put together a nice “spring” meal for my father’s birthday. This looks like a great recipe for starters. What would you recommend I serve with it to complete the meal?

    Thanks

    • Jenn

      Hi Alison, For lunch or a light meal, I’d serve it with my Leek and Parmesan Quiche or my Spinach and Gruyere Quiche. For dinner, it would be great with my Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Arugula Salad with Lemon and Parmesan. Or, if you’re looking for something more substantial to go with the chicken, try my Garlicky Roasted Broccoli and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes.

  • Michael

    My mother loves this soup. She recommended it so here I am ;) . Great job!!

  • I love this soup……I added carrots to give a slightly different flavor…
    So healthy and no cream needed!!!

    I also added bits of steak..I like to improvise…..and bay leaves..

  • Esther

    Great soup! Very easy to do and had wonderful flavor. I have made it a couple of times & plan to do it next time we have anyone over for dinner. This is a keeper!

  • marianne

    I loved this soup! I added potato to thicken it and also cooked salmon- something I had when in Switzerland that I never thought I would like and ended up loving.

  • Laura Deitz

    This is so fresh and delicious. Made it yesterday for the weekend/week. Shared some with a friend and she loved it. Can’t wait for the fresh aspargus to come in to make it again! Thanks Jenneifer for your outstanding recipes and website. I wish you had a cooking show,right after Ina’s!

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