Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

5 stars based on 7 votes

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 puréed 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

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.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 162
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Sodium: 541mg
  • Cholesterol: 18mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Very easy and delicous soup. I am on a Beach Body Reset cleanse and am always looking for new recipes to compliment this program.
    I made a minor change and added organic dill in the tube from produce section because it adds just a tad of oil. I also added the 1 cup of water I cooked the asparagus tips in, so the soup was not as thick as it was meant to be, but still yummy . May try thickening with a little arrowroot

    - Annie Heart on November 16, 2014 Reply
    • forgot to add: I used very thin stalks and sauteed the cutup aspargus with the onion to ensure softness I served the soup with a dollop of greek yougart. .Will definutely make again

      - Annie Heart on November 16, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So delicious!! And so easy to make! I didn’t have 6 cups of broth so I subbed in some white wine, and it was just fine. Thanks for sharing!

    - Dana on November 1, 2014 Reply
  • This soup is wonderful. I would like to know the calories per serving. I would give it five stars.

    - Linda Anderson on October 7, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Linda, The nutritional data has been added right underneath the recipe. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on October 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The asparagus soup was fast and easy to make. I particularly liked that cream was not needed. My husband and I give it five stars.

    - Travel Maven on August 11, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Easy to do and so yummy!!!
    (even without the lemon, parmesan cheese or herbs).

    - Camille LoParrino on July 31, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe looks great, could I use lemon zest instead of juice so its not as strong lemon flavor? Im thinking of serving this with either your grilled salmon and cucumber dill salad or the the mustard glaze salmon, I cant decide. I might just make both sauces and let the family decide which they want

    - Ryan on July 29, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Ryan, Sure that should work fine. Would be delicious with either dish :)

      - Jenn on July 29, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The soup was great !the recipe calls for 4 to 6 servings so I double it for 12. much to much. the one recipe would have been enough. I did serve it as a first course .But even in a very large bowl it would have to much

    - Andrew Ambrosio on July 25, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This soup was really good…I don’t eat asparagus as much as I love it….however this soup will allow me to enjoy it more often. I added shredded chicken for a complete meal! Really nice…

    - Lisa P on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • Terrific soup!! 5 stars
    I didn’t add any spices other than salt and pepper, recipe didn’t need other spices. I microwaved the tips until al dente and added back to pot after purée. Do not strain soup!

    - Donna Bradshaw on July 2, 2014 Reply
  • 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!

    - Laura Deitz on March 23, 2014 Reply
  • 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.

    - marianne on November 23, 2013 Reply
  • 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!

    - Esther on November 5, 2013 Reply
  • 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..

    - Larry on May 5, 2013 Reply
  • My mother loves this soup. She recommended it so here I am ;) . Great job!!

    - Michael on March 23, 2013 Reply
  • 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

    - Alison on March 23, 2013 Reply
    • 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.

      - Jenn on March 23, 2013 Reply
  • I just made this soup, I used beef broth because I was out of chicken broth, it’s absolutely delicious!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    - MsLola on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Just made this soup using frozen asparagus and have to say this soup is amazing.

    - Carolyn on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • I love this asparagus soup. Looking forward to fresh asparagus season.

    - Kathleen French-Wilson on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • 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.

    - PaulainVA on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • 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.

    - Joe on February 16, 2013 Reply
  • 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!

    - Candace on January 20, 2013 Reply
  • 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

    - Teresa Taylor on January 7, 2013 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

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

    - Susan on December 25, 2012 Reply
    • 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.

      - Jenn on December 26, 2012 Reply
  • 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…

    - jane on June 20, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Jane, Sorry the soup didn’t work out. You might try leaving out the lemon if it is too tangy for you.

      - Jenn on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • I made this soup and served it cold (after conferring with Jenn) for my niece’s shower. It was a total hit!

    - Karen on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Andrew on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Would roasting the asparagus bring out more of the asparagus flavor? Would you recommend that?

    - Elisa on June 9, 2012 Reply
    • 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!

      - Jenn on June 9, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Erin McNamara on May 21, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Sally on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • We love this recipe. It’s creamy but not heavy, and the flavor is wonderful. Easy to make and delicious!

    - Donna on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Regina on May 17, 2012 Reply
  • Sublime! Perfect for May in DC as asparagus is all over the farmers markets!

    - Patty F. on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Kate on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • This recipe looks absolutely fantastic! I’ve been looking for vegetarian friendly recipes for entertaining some non-meat eaters. Yum!

    - Ellen on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Cynthia on May 15, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Cynthia, I have a Cuisinart immersion blender and love it.

      - Jenn on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I have made this soup just about every week while the asparagus are in season. Delish!

    - Susan M on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I made this soup over the weekend and have to make some more – delicious!

    - Robyn Coffey on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Carole G on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I Love this Asparagus Soup…almost ate it all by myself!! shared very little….

    - Lisabika24 on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I can’t wait to try this.

    - Kelly on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • 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 :-)

    - The Wimpy Vegetarian on May 2, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Joy on May 1, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Claudine on May 1, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Kelly S on April 29, 2012 Reply
  • 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.

    - Annie Cowing on April 28, 2012 Reply
  • I just made this soup and it was absolutely wonderful! It was so rich for not using cream! Thanks for the great idea/directions

    - Melissa on April 27, 2012 Reply
  • Yummo! Looking for a pin tab so I can remember to make this (?)

    - Ann on April 26, 2012 Reply
  • I made this Asparagus soup last night and it is absolutely delicious!!

    - Cindy on April 26, 2012 Reply
  • What is the serving size?

    - Erin on April 25, 2012 Reply
    • Hey Erin, It serves 4-6. Hope you like it!

      - Jenn on April 25, 2012 Reply
  • This soup looks perfect for spring! I can’t wait to try it!

    - Sarah on April 25, 2012 Reply
  • 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

    - lori ward on April 25, 2012 Reply
    • That is so nice to hear, Lori. Thank you!

      - Jenn on April 25, 2012 Reply
  • 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!

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 25, 2012 Reply
  • Love the idea of eating asparagus like this!

    - Blog is the New Black on April 25, 2012 Reply

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