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Buttermilk Soup Base Recipe with Asparagus or Watercress

Updated on March 31, 2008
buttermilk soup base with broccoli, mushrooms, and wild rice
buttermilk soup base with broccoli, mushrooms, and wild rice

I must admit that this soup was an experiment, and I had no idea if it would work at all. I had some buttermilk left over that was going to go bad, so I decided to try to make a soup base with it. It turns out that it was half success, half failure. The soup base was excellent and complex, but I had just used vegetables that didn't quite complement it perfectly. I used broccoli, mushrooms, and wild rice. The broccoli alone might have worked, though it is a bit more strongly flavored than I would recommend. The mushrooms did not go well with the buttermilk flavor. And the wild rice was a bad texture choice--it simply didn't work with this soup.

However, all was not lost! The flavor of this soup turned out to be the perfect complement for more subtle vegetables, notably asparagus or watercress. With the right fillers, this soup is exquisite!

If you've ever had buttermilk, then you know right off that this soup has a complex flavor, both tart and creamy. Combined with parmesan cheese, it is a perfect complement to a subtly flavored vegetable like watercress or asparagus. It is a fairly quick soup to prepare. Enjoy!

This recipe is vegetarian.

Buttermilk Soup Base Recipe with Asparagus, Watercress, or Vegetable of Choice

serves four


  • 1 medium-sized yellow or sweet onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups cut up asparagus OR watercress
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 5 cups water
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 5 grams vegetable bouillon *
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • black pepper to taste

* I used Rapunzel Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt

Preparation Instructions:

1). You will want to have all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking. So:

  • Peel the onion and mince it finely.
  • Peel the garlic cloves, crush them, and mince them finely.
  • Wash and cut up the asparagus or watercress.
  • Cut the bouillon into smaller pieces so that it dissolves easily.
  • Grate the parmesan cheese.

2). In a large soup pot over medium heat, combine the butter or margarine and the onion and garlic. Stir until onion is starting to become translucent. If using asparagus, add it now and sauté until is just cooked and still crisp.

3). Quickly add the water, white wine, bouillon pieces, and salt. When the bouillon is dissolved, add the buttermilk and stir well. Heat until it is just getting hot--do NOT allow it to reach a boil or the buttermilk will curdle. If using watercress, add it now. Quickly add most of the parmesan, reserving a little for garnish. Serve immediately, garnishing with the reserved parmesan. Enjoy!


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