This creamy asparagus soup recipe is easy to make and the perfect soup to welcome those chilly spring evenings. You'll use leeks, asparagus, chicken broth, and cream for a beautiful soup with a delicate flavor.
What is it?
Asparagus soup is a springtime soup made with asparagus, broth or water, cream, and a thickener. The result is a pale green soup with a delicate flavor and velvety texture.
Why this recipe works
We use a little short-grain white rice to thicken the soup rather than flour or cornstarch. It gives the soup a not-too-thick, velvety texture without the heaviness of flour.
It only needs about 30 minutes to cook. So it’s a quick and easy spring vegetable recipe.
The soup tastes delicious and is perfect for those slightly chilly spring afternoons. It’s warming with a delicate asparagus flavor touched by notes of cream, butter, and leeks.
Like most soup recipes, the ingredients for this asparagus soup recipe are straightforward, with a focus on fresh spring produce. It’s simple, nourishing, and delicious.
- Asparagus is the foundation of the soup. Any type of asparagus will do. You can use thin- or thick-stemmed asparagus as well as green, white, or purple varieties.
- Leeks give balance to asparagus. They have a light onion-like flavor and are often available in springtime at the farmers’ markets.
- Broth forms the liquid portion of the soup. Store-bought broth works fine. But if you learn how to make chicken broth, you’ll find the results taste even better. You can also use vegetable broth or homemade bone broth.
- Short-grain white rice thickens the soup. You only need a little bit, but it plumps in the butter and soaks up the broth.
- Butter gives the soup a creamy note, and it also helps break down the leeks.
- Heavy cream softens the flavor of the soup, introducing a delicate quality. It also works with rice to thicken the soup and improve its texture.
How to Make Asparagus Soup
This asparagus soup is an easy recipe to make. Everything comes together in a single pot, minimizing dishes. You’ll sauté vegetables, simmer them in broth and purée it all together,
- Prepare the vegetables. You’ll remove asparagus’s tough, woody ends and reserve them. You’ll also slice the leeks, keeping the delicate parts for the soup and reserving the tough green leaves for the broth.
- Prepare the leek and asparagus broth. Combine the leek and asparagus scraps in a saucepan with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then turn the temperature down to simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Sauté the leeks and rice in butter until the leeks soften, and the rice turns translucent.
- Add the remaining ingredients and simmer the soup until the rice is cooked through and the asparagus turns tender.
- Add cream and purée. That’s it.
- Making the leek and asparagus broth is helpful but not necessary. So, if you don’t have time to fuss with an infused broth, your soup will still taste amazing without the extra effort.
- Leeks are notoriously dirty vegetables because they’re grown in sandy soil. So, give them a good rinse when you slice them to remove any grit.
- You can save the asparagus tips and blanch them in hot water to stir into the soup rather than puréeing everything together. The asparagus makes a pretty garnish.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can purée the soup in batches in a high-powered upright blender. Cool the soup for about 10 minutes before blending.
- When reheating the soup, add a little extra broth or water. A few tablespoons are all your need.
What to Serve with Asparagus Soup
We like to serve the soup with a swirl of extra cream and chopped fresh herbs. Chives, tarragon, or chervil work well.
A hunk of no-knead sourdough bread is a nice partner to any soup, especially if you serve it with plenty of butter. For something more substantial, you can slather your bread with chicken liver pâté or mushroom pâté
You can also top the soup with freshly shaved parmesan cheese, crispy prosciutto, diced ham, or homemade crackers.
Variations + Substitutions
For an even more simple soup, you can skip infusing the broth with leek and asparagus scraps (steps 1 - 3). You may lose a little flavor, but it’s less effort.
For a lighter version, substitute whole milk for half of the cream.
Sour cream or crème frâiche is a good substitute for heavy cream in this recipe. It lends a more complex flavor with a note of tartness.
Finish the soup with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Lemon partners well with asparagus and lends a light, bright note to the soup.
How long does it keep?
Asparagus soup will keep for about 3 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
Can you freeze asparagus soup?
Yes. To freeze the soup, let it cool to room temperature. Then transfer it to a mason jar, allowing two inches of head space. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm on the stove. Stir in the cream before serving.
How do I reheat the soup?
Add two tablespoons of water to the soup, and then warm it on the stove over medium-low heat until hot.
How do I thicken asparagus soup?
In this asparagus soup recipe, rice serves as the thickener. If it still isn’t thick enough, you can add a spoonful of potato flakes.
How can I puree the soup without an immersion blender?
If you don’t have an immersion blender, allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. Then, purée it in batches in an upright blender.
Can I make this dairy-free?
This soup really depends on the cream and butter for both flavor and texture. However, you can make a dairy-free version by substituting extra virgin olive oil for the butter and substituting additional broth for the cream.