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Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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This asparagus soup tastes rich, yet it’s made without heavy cream – just veggies, broth, and a bit of Parmesan cheese puréed to silky perfection.

Bowl of asparagus soup with lemon and parmesan.

One of my favorite soup recipes, this creamy asparagus soup is made without heavy cream – just vegetables, broth, and a bit of Parmesan cheese puréed to silky perfection. It’s perfect for early spring when asparagus is in peak season and there’s still a chill in the air. Serve with a focaccia or a good artisan bread.

What you’ll need To Make Asparagus Soup

Soup ingredients including chicken broth, lemon, and onion.

How To Make Asparagus Soup

Begin by melting the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic.

Wooden spoon stirring onions in a Dutch oven.

Cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.

Dutch oven of cooked onions.

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.

Knife on a cutting board with asparagus tips.

Add the chopped asparagus to the pot, along with the chicken broth, salt, and pepper.

Chopped asparagus floating in a Dutch oven of chicken broth.

Bring to a boil.

Chicken broth boiling in a Dutch oven.

Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.

Dutch oven of simmering soup.

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

Immersion blender in a Dutch oven of soup.

 

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

Grated parmesan in a Dutch oven of soup.

Finally, cook the asparagus tips in salted boiling water for a few minutes until tender-crisp.

Asparagus tips in a small pot of water.

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 you can also refresh the tips under cold running water.

Asparagus tips in a bowl of ice and water.

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

Bowl of asparagus soup with lemon and parmesan.

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Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

This asparagus soup tastes rich, yet it’s made without heavy cream – just veggies, broth, and a bit of Parmesan cheese puréed to silky perfection.

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus (about 2¼ pounds), bottom ends trimmed
  • 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
  • ½ cup shredded 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, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Do not brown; reduce the heat if necessary.
  2. In the meantime, cut the tips off of one bunch of the asparagus and set aside (you'll use those for a garnish). Cut the remaining spears and the other bunch of asparagus into ½-inch pieces.
  3. Add the chopped asparagus to the pot (minus the reserved tips), along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the 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, or until tender-crisp. Drain the tips and then place them in a bowl of ice water to "shock" them -- this stops the cooking process and preserves their bright green color. Once the tips are cool, drain them and 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.) Bring the soup back to a simmer and stir in the lemon juice and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. To thicken the soup, allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmigiano-Reggiano, herbs (if using), and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: You can freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. (The soup will freeze best if you add the cheese when reheating.)

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 593 mg
  • Cholesterol: 22 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Today I had to use up some wonderful fresh asparugus a neighbor gave us. Made this recipe, but cut ingredient amounts down to 1/3 (only had 10 ozs of trimmed asparagus). I purposely went a little light on the lemon. Had a small parmesan rind so did simmer with that. Probably used a bit more onion than called for, and added asparagus tips in with the rest of the asparagus; did not save them for a garnish. The soup was very good. The reduced amount was enough for 2 very generous bowls. So glad I could put the asparagus to good use!

    • — MJ on May 18, 2024
    • Reply
  • My husband made this soup for our dinner last night and I must say it was outstanding!!!
    I highly recommend it!!!

    • — Gracie Castillo on May 18, 2024
    • Reply
  • I over-cooked some asparagus, so I spent twenty minutes turning it into this amazing soup. Everyone raved like it was from a fancy restaurant; it went perfectly with our crab brioche sandwiches. I will absolutely use this fantastic recipe again.

    • — Jay on May 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made the recipe as given and it was delicious! Thank you!

    • — Theresa on May 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • I simmered asparagus stems in broth with onions last night and this morning looked for recipes to salvage it (brought back some painful childhood memories of boiled asparagus…) I did not exactly follow your recipe, but did add in all your extra ingredients except lemon. It took a lot to ultimately eliminate the boiled asparagus flavor and make tasty.

    I really only came to add that I want to try the recipe as written and also experiment with using preserved lemon. Thanks for the direction!

    • — Elizabeth r Burson on April 24, 2024
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  • Love this soup!

    • — REENA on April 22, 2024
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  • This soup was delicious
    I did make several adjustments
    I only used one bunch asparagus and added 1 cup of cooked rice before puréing with immersion blender made soup thicker and creamier

    • — Linda R on April 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • Good morning Jenn,
    I have made many of your wonderful recipes and they all were delicious. Unfortunately I must’ve done something wrong as this didn’t turn out well. I cooked my asparagus for over an hour and the veggies were soft and well done. I used my immersion blender repeatedly and every time I picked it up, there was a lot of “mush” on the bottom of the blender. Then used a large spoon and kept stirring but that didn’t help. I had a bowl of it and the soup was very stringy. Before refrigerating it, I had to use my colander to strain all of the thick “mush” from the soup.
    I wish I knew what went wrong.
    Susan

    • — Susan on April 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, I’m sorry you had such a problem with this! It sounds like you blended it thoroughly. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe? If not, asparagus can be fibrous, but I wonder if perhaps yours was really fibrous. You did the right thing by using a strainer to get the “mush” from the soup, but sorry it was a disappointment!

      • — Jenn on April 19, 2024
      • Reply
  • Delicious soup. Made exactly as instructed. Love it and low cal too (I reduced the butter). Thank you. ❤️

    • — Olivia on April 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe!! Very flavorful yet light and refreshing!! Made exactly as the recipe is written. Will definitely be making this again, and again…..

    • — Lynn Mathews on April 15, 2024
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  • So glad I found this recipe! The fresh lemon brightens up the flavor significantly. I used vegetable broth instead of chicken because that’s what I always have in the pantry and I actually used the grated parmesan and lemon juice as part of the garnish rather than stirring it in so I could do the same with the leftovers and get that fresh taste every time. I added a Parmesan rind when I added the chopped asparagus and broth and removed it before pureeing the soup.

    • — Meredith on April 10, 2024
    • Reply
  • I have been making this recipe for several years. It is superb. I make this for several asparagus-loving friends & they all rave. Can’t wait for asparagus season to begin.

    • — Al Harrington on April 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Prior to making your recipe I’ve been making another for decades that I like a lot. That’s now history now that I’ve made yours! It’s superb, plus it has the added benefit of achieving the consistency I prefer by a longer simmer and not having to add any cream. The only changes I made was to reduce the broth to 5 cups and a bit more lemon juice. The next time I might throw in a parmesan rind while boiling the asparagus. Thanks for another winner!

    • — andi on April 3, 2024
    • Reply
    • I used a Parmesan rind when boiling the asparagus. Delectable!!

      • — Meredith on April 10, 2024
      • Reply
  • Was apprehensive this was not a cream of asparagus. Surprise! This was delicious, even my husband who’s not fond of asparagus anything, loved this soup. Yay! It’s a keeper. Thank you.

    • — Lauren Joy on April 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is so easy and SOOOOOOOOO delish!!!!~. Thank you for this and even the non-asparagus foodies will like it!!!

    • — vickie on March 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    I love love love ! this soup. I have made it maybe 6 times now and have shared it with every one I know. One of my friends Robin, loves it and she makes it all the time also!
    I recently tried your creamy tortilla soup and omg ! So good ! My husband and I like it with out chicken in it and I put plenty of toppings on it, a spoon of sour cream , avocado chunks, cilantro , and some Mexican cheese , So good Robin loved it also !!!

    • — Patt Wathen , California on March 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • Holy CRAP.
    Went to the store today and they had asparagus on sale cheaper than I’ve seen in 15 years – I bought 3 bunches and found this recipe…
    Usually recipes like this are meh – but WOW.
    I used a whole garlic bulb and 2 big onions because I love those flavors – and tied up a bunch of thyme to simmer during the half hour…
    This was an insane soup that I’m going to make OFTEN.

    • — Phil on March 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • The addition of lemon and an herb of your choice is a very nice addition to what is a pretty standard soup. I use leeks and shallots rather than yellow onion, but I am sure the later tastes just fine. Thanks Jenn, more great ideas from my favorite online cooking blogger!

    • — Alex Dean on March 5, 2024
    • Reply
  • Can add to the glowing reports from everyone else. 5stars + added some potatoes to extend the soup, and it worked beautifully. Recipe is perfect as it though.
    Easy, healthy and delicious. THANKS!!!

    • — Donna on March 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made this soup last night as I had a bunch of left over asparagus I didn’t know what to do with. It was delicious! I did use less broth for a thicker soup and it turned out perfectly.

    • — Mere on February 27, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this soup today. I LOVE IT!!!!! Simply delicious. I followed your recipe as written, but I did add a dollop of cream cheese to make up for the salt I can’t have. I gave you 5 stars because it was so easy and so very very tasty.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!!

    • — Diane La Pointe on February 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • I had oral surgery and the store had some beautiful asparagus on sale. I couldn’t resist as I love asparagus. I didn’t want to eat them as usual so I thought Soup! Yes! Stuck with bland food — no way! This was absolutely delicious!!

    • — Vanessa Bryant on February 24, 2024
    • Reply
  • Jenn, another jewel in your soup crown Made exactly as written, but didn’t hear the timer at 30 minutes, probably more like 40. No problem, was exactly the consistency I love. Garnished with fresh chopped dill along with the asparagus tips. So delicious. Would like to make a double recipe. Would a 9 qt soup pot be large enough?

    • — Carol on February 23, 2024
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked it, Carol! Yes, a double batch should fit in a 9-quart pot. 😊

      • — Jenn on February 24, 2024
      • Reply
  • I’d like to serve for Sunday lunch in a few weeks. Can I make it on the Friday before? Or do you suggest I make it now, freeze then defrost?

    • — Robin on February 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Robin, it’s fine to make it on Friday — it keeps nicely for several days.

      • — Jenn on February 20, 2024
      • Reply
  • Delicious. Very tasty and fresh. Easy to make. Used half milk instead of all broth to make it a bit creamier.

    • — Tracy on February 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • I make this all the time,,it’s my husband’s favorite soup and mine as well.

    • — Mary MILLER on January 19, 2024
    • Reply
  • We love simple! This is simple and delicious without a huge calorie hit. Perfect!

    • — Cooldie on December 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Can I substitute extra virgin olive oil for the butter? If so, how much oil?
    Thanks so much!

    • — Jodie on October 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, I’d use 3 tablespoons of oil. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 30, 2023
      • Reply
  • I made this last night for dinner, exactly as written. It was so good! Everyone loved it.

    • — Clarissa on October 17, 2023
    • Reply

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