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.

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.

What you’ll need To Make Asparagus Soup

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

How To Make Asparagus Soup

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

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

Cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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.

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

Bring to a boil.

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

 

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

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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.

How to Make Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan

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

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

  • I just finished making this and found it a little “flat” tasting even after the lemon juice. I added a teaspoon of powdered chicken boullion as well as a couple of teaspoons of white balsamic vinegar. The combination added a bit more flavor (salt as well as msg), and also amped up the acidity. I found they made the soup really pop.

    • — Steve on March 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • This is such a wonderful simple yet delicious soup, it really tastes like spring and doesn’t feel heavy at all!

    • — Bryan on March 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was lovely the lemon really added a pop! And the parm gave it a subtle salty creaminess.

    • — Gina on March 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Question…how big is a “serving”, or how many cups/quart/liters does this recipe yield?
    Comment…why can’t I just make it and find out? Because I’m getting the asparagus tomorrow (on sale for .99/lb!), and want to can as much as I can to have it throughout the year (and give it as food gifts 🙂 My freezer space is ‘all used up’.
    Thank you!
    (and yes, of course, I’ll leave the parmesan out when I can it – and add it when I warm/serve the soup)

    • — Kristi on March 13, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristi, That’s a great price for asparagus! I would guesstimate that a serving of this would be about 2 cups. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 14, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is a very good healthy soup. As usual, Jenn has given us a wonderful canvas to work with but the soup is excellent as is. I get the feeling she spends more time testing her recipes than most people or organizations who cater to cooks. Thank you.

    • — Paul Swepston on March 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Simple and fantastic!! Made it once and we’ve decided it will be an ongoing staple in this house. My brother came over and had some and went home with the recipe!

    • — Lori Smith on March 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve printed this out and made it a few times. it is fantastic!! Thank y ou!

    • — Linda Cardinal on March 3, 2022
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  • I have made this soup multiple times and it always turns out great! It’s super easy, healthy and very tasty. It was fantastic by itself or paired with grilled cheese sandwiches. I also served this with the kale salad attached to the recipe (also delicious). Would love to know if your have other similar soup recipes.

    • — Lourdes on March 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it, Lourdes! This post has a number of other soups that may appeal to you. Also, feel free to browse through all my soup recipes to supplement what you see.

      • — Jenn on March 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • I first tasted this soup January 2021 when I contracted Covid. I lost my sense of taste and smell but loved the texture. I am making this almost weekly since the cold weather hit. Its so simple and freezes well. Thank you!!

    • — Rosette Rutman on March 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn, a basic cooking question. Sorry! If I saute the garlic with the onion at the same time, how do I avoid browning the garlic? Sauteing at medium low?

    • — David Spitko on March 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • No worries at all! Yes, if you see the garlic starting to brown, just reduce the heat a little.

      • — Jenn on March 3, 2022
      • Reply
    • I ended up sauteing the onion first and then adding the garlic right at the end. It worked well, because I chop my garlic super fine and it would be too brown by the time the onions were done.

      • — Lisa VanWatermeulen on May 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • This soup is absolutely delicious! It is fine restaurant quality. I made it exactly as the recipe stated and will not change a thing. Thank you for this beautiful soup!

    • — Theresa on February 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • This soup is easy to put together and is very delicious! Thank you!

    • — Mary Jo on February 23, 2022
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  • We make this soup often because it’s just so delish and the best way to use that bunch of asparagus in the fridge (we often halve the recipe if we only have one bunch on hand and it’s perfect for our family of 4). We have non-diary people in the house so I leave the Parm for sprinkling at the table but it’s often eaten without cheese by all – just as tasty. It’s so quick and easy to make in a pinch (I omit the asparagus tips garnish step if in a rush). My picky kids love it too – especially when it’s “Baby Yoda soup” on the menu for dinner ha!

    • — GenaG on February 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent soup. Easy to make and so delicious to eat.

    • — Kathy on February 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • So easy and tasty!
    I also add the Parmigiano cheese rind to stock when simmering for added flavor.

    • — Trent Schermerhorn on February 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • As everyone’s already said, this is great! Just adding that I only had one bunch of asparagus, so I subbed in an aging zucchini for the other half of asparagus, and it turned out perfectly.

    So that’s an option, though I suspect any hearty veggie could work in a pinch.

    • — Kevin on February 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • Une excellente soupe, onctueuse et riche en vitamine. Je l’ai intégralement selon votre recette.
    Voulez-vous m’indiquer pourquoi vous ajoutez du citron ?

    Merci pour vos excellentes recettes.

    • — Réginald on January 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Content que tu aimes ça! J’aime la luminosité et le peu d’acidité que le citron ajoute.

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is one of my husbands favorite ways to eat asparagus! I make it just like the recipe, it always turns out great!

    • — Patricia on January 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • My absolute all-time favorite soup recipe. I don’t add the parmesan and lemon, and I replace one of the asparagus bunches with broccoli or a head of cauliflower.

    • — Alex on January 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Easy to make, quick dinner; delicate and very tasty! I did not use the Parmesan as I am on a restricted regime. I halved the recipe but kept the lemon the same. Mmmm

    • — LuLu on January 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was easy and delicious and healthy!!! Just added to my favorite soup file!

    • — Jan on January 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • This soup was fabulous and easy
    I will be making it again

    • — Jkgash on January 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious soup! Made it as instructed a few times now— everyone loves it! Thank you!

    • — Krys on January 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely fantastic soup! Blanched the tips for a couple of minutes and the asparagus stems simmered for about 10 minutes. Using a blender make the soup so silky smooth. Recipe made 5 bowls of soup (as a main course).

    • — Tanya on December 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this tonight as the starter for our family Christmas dinner, and everyone LOVED it! It seemed very elegant and fancy, but also warm and comforting without being too heavy. My husband says he likes it much better than eating asparagus.

    • — Jill P. on December 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow!! Love it. I didn’t have enough chicken stock so I used chicken and mushroom stock. I also added the parmesan rind while it was simmering and took it out before blending. I used my vitamix blender, very smooth no asparagus bits at all, very creamy.

    • — Suzie on December 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • I followed the recipe but cut the portion for 18 oz. of asparagus. Tried to do half of the recipe volume for each ingredient, give or take a little and the soup was DELICIOUS.

    • — Richard Thorpe on December 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is an outstanding recipe. Very light, low fat, and low sodium. Easy to make and very forgiving. I forgot the lemon and it still came out really good. A few notes: (1) I reduced the butter when sautéing the onion and garlic and used the remaining butter for finishing. (2) The bottom parts of the asparagus can still be tough depending on how much you have removed. I snapped the bottoms off where the stalks naturally bent, that way I didn’t have to cook the asparagus for more than 15 minutes. Also, without any tough parts remaining, I didn’t have have to worry about having strands of fiber left after I blended the soup. (3) Be careful with the amount of pepper. I used freshly ground pepper so the taste was pretty strong. Next time I’ll reduce it a bit. Thank you Once upon a Chef for this outstanding recipe!

    • — Lina on December 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Tried it. Very nice. Will use this recipe again for sure.

    • — Manuel Ortega on December 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • This soup is unreal. I’m so glad I found your recipe!

    • — Kellie on December 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Restaurant-style delicious! The easiest (onions, garlic and asperagus…lemon) and best asparagus soup without doubt. The lemon adds that special zing. Follow this easy recipe. It’s not heavy or rich. Everyone loves this. I reduced the butter to two tablespoons and cannot tell a difference. By accident, I forgot to add the Parmesan cheese once and everyone loved it just the same. The little bit of fresh lemon is important. Just be sure to snap the woody ends of each spear or the soup will be stringy and then you will need to strain it. This will be your ‘go to’ soup for friends and family. Great to freeze—add the cheese when reheating.

    • — June on November 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delish! I love all of Jennifer’s recipes!

    • — Andrew L Shores on November 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen,
    Fantastic soup! I have tried many other recipes for asparagus soup and yours by far is the best! As others have commented, I love that there is no cream, and the addition of parmesan cheese and lemon give the soup a delightful favor. I made the recipe as written; however, I might add fresh lemon thyme the next time as someone mentioned.

    Jen, your recipes are my “go to” source and I have shared your recipes with my family and friends. I recently bought both of your cook books. The quality of your books is exceptional and I love that you include a full page picture for each recipe. I was shopping at my local Williams and Sonoma store a few days ago and suggested that they carry your books! Thank you for sharing your recipes and I look forward to your next book.

    Jan

    • — Jan M. on October 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed the soup! Also, thank you for your very kind words — I’m happy you like the cookbooks (and appreciate you making the suggestion to Williams Sonoma)!! 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 15, 2021
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    • Really delicious-tasting soup already, with minimal effort. I was looking for something to use up a bundle of asparagus where the tips were no longer perfect, but not yet stinky. (Waste is unnecessary.) I halved the recipe and this is earmarked for tomorrow’s lunch. It’s already amazing, can’t wait to taste it with the Parmesan and lemon added. Tips will need to wait until we make this again next spring. Thank you!

      • — Christopher on December 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • This soup knocked it out of the park. A great starter to the Thanksgiving meal. Thanks Jen

    • — Ann Dowling on October 11, 2021
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  • Excellent Soup! I make this as written, except I add just 1 to 2 Sprigs of fresh Lemon thyme to the broth. Then pull out the stems just before pulsing. [Lowes and Home Depo sell fresh Lemon Thyme in EARLY Spring. ] It is a perennial that I grow in 1ft X 1ft pots on my deck. Then I always have some on hand.
    No other tweaks have ever been needed….( which is rare for me)
    I think it is best fresh, but it does freeze well when you follow the directions given for freezing.
    Also, try Jenn’s Green Pea & Asparagus Soup with feta…Another perfect Spring Soup.

    • — GMJ on October 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious take on asparagus soup. Love that no cream was used and enjoyed the addition of parm and zing of lemon. Will definitely make this again.

    • — Foxarazzi on September 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to make a big batch and freeze some.

    • — Viv on June 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I am making this for the third time today. It is so delicious! Family loves it. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!

    • — E Kelly on June 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Can I freeze this soup???? Saving a bit of summer for the winter?

      • — Jennifer on August 4, 2021
      • Reply
      • Sure! See the bottom of the recipe for freezer-friendly instructions.

        • — Jenn on August 4, 2021
        • Reply
  • This is the most flavourful & delicious asparagus soup yet! It’s so smooth & creamy and yet not a drop of cream! The touch of lemon juice really makes the asparagus pop! Perfect soup for Asparagus season. Thank you again Jenn!

    • — Linda on June 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • This soup is amazing. Easy to make and absolutely delicious. Very light and flavorful. It’s a regular in my house.

    • — Kim on June 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • I found this recipe on line a few months ago and have made it several times already. So Delicious. So Easy, So healthy. Perfect for the local fresh asparagus in Nova Scotia right now.

    • — Janet MacLennan on June 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • What a heavenly soup recipe! The flavours of the asparagus, parmesan and lemon meld together beautifully. I made it last night for supper served with a caprese salad and crusty roasted garlic loaf and it was a hit. Local asparagus is in season in my area so it was such a nice way to prepare it versus as a side dish or incorporated into pasta. Thank you!

    • — Lisa Gordon on June 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • Would chicken stock be as good to use as chicken broth? Thanks.. Pam

    • — Pam Chaconas on June 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Pam, chicken stock is perfectly fine to use here. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 10, 2021
      • Reply
  • Wow!

    Healthy, low-cal, simple AND DELICIOUS.
    What more could one want?
    Has anyone served this soup cold?
    I imagine it might be iffy with the cheese but maybe a variation?

    Thank you! Terrific.

    • — Anne on June 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, Glad you liked it! And a number of people have commented that they’ve served the soup chilled and have been happy with it.

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • Can this soup be served cold?

    • — Anne on June 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Definitely!

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • Very good and very simple. My only problem was my desktop is in one room and the kitchen in another. I kept wondering when I added the cream . It was smooth and “creamy” without any cream. Perhaps that was the Parmesan. And the lemon juice gives a zing that brings it to perfection.

    • — Doug Hammen on June 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    This is absolutely delicious!!! I have made it twice in a week- it is easy and super fast to make. I always was hesitant to making soups thinking it was a lot of work – I could not have been more wrong. It is tasty and easy to make, let alone heathy – thanks Jenn for yet another amazing recipe which will become a staple at our house.

    Annie

    • — Annie Papazian on May 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • Forgot to add the stars!!!

      ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

      • — Annie Papazian on May 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi!
    Thank you so much for your delicious recipes! I am making so many recipes of yours. Is there anyway making this soup vegetarian? I’m originally from Israel so I know good food-:) If possible can you please upload more vegetarian recipes?
    I really love your food and I really enjoy your website thank you so much for taking the time sharing your wisdom 💜

    • — Ester on May 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I’ve made this soup twice and love it, especially this time of year. Thank you!

    I use an immersion blender for a long time to make it really smooth but each time I’ve noticed a vaguely crunchy texture that is slightly unwelcome, almost like a tiny bit of super fine sand. Should I be washing or soaking the asparagus more? Will a full on food processor do a better job eliminating ths?

    • — Andrew on May 25, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Andrew, glad you like the soup! Asparagus is naturally really fibrous so I think that’s probably the texture you’re picking up on. I’d recommend using a blender and then passing it through a fine mesh sieve to weed out any of those extra bits. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 25, 2021
      • Reply
      • I passed my soup through a chinois and it removed about 2 teaspoons of fibre and made all the difference in the world on texture. I highly recommend that or a food mill.

        • — lisa Wolff on June 10, 2021
        • Reply
      • Perhaps she should have snapped off the very bottoms of the asparagus as another option.

        I always do this to avoid the tough fibrous part of the asparagus. Then I actually simmer the ends in the chicken broth while prepping the onion and garlic and then simmering them in olive oil.

        Simply discard the ends from the broth when ready to add the broth to the garlic, onions and the “good” parts of the remaining asparagus. The broth really absorbs the flavor out of the ends that would otherwise just have been thrown out.

        BTW I Love your recipe! Thank you!

        • — Christian on July 22, 2021
        • Reply
    • I have been a devoted fan of Giada’s Asparagus Soup for years — but stumbled upon yours this evening and decided to use it instead. I only had leeks (because I was planning on using Giada’s) but despite that moderation, this was INCREDIBLE. This has now become my favorite Asparagus Soup. Adding the lemon notched up the flavor SO MUCH. I couldn’t stop eating it.

      • — Tabitha on January 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Excellent! It was easy to divide up to make a smaller portion. My only changes were using a veggie broth, and I added a potato for creaminess. Next time I will add cauliflower instead of potato.

    • — Neena on May 24, 2021
    • Reply

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