This lovely creamy asparagus soup is made without heavy cream — just vegetables, broth, and a 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.
Begin by melting the butter in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic.
Cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
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.
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.
Return the soup to the pot and stir in the fresh lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese.
Finally, cook the asparagus tips in salted boiling water for a few minutes 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 you can also refresh the tips under cold running water.
Finally, ladle the soup into bowls and top with the asparagus tips, Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs (if using), and freshly ground black pepper.
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Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan
- 2 bunches asparagus (about 2-1/4 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
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)
- 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.
- 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 1/2-inch pieces.
- Add the chopped asparagus to the pot (minus the reserved tips), along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, Parmigiano-Reggiano, herbs (if using), and freshly ground black pepper.
- 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.)
- 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.