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Healthy Asparagus Soup Recipe
Light and Creamy Asparagus Soup
Many cream of asparagus soups call for large quantities of cream, creme fraiche, or butter. Asparagus is a light, spring vegetable with fresh taste - why smother it?
This creamy, lemony asparagus soup manages to have a creamy texture without any cream or butter. Light, healthy, and perfectly suited for a spring or summer day, this soup is excellent warm or chilled.
Ingredients for Asparagus Soup
- 1 or 2 bunches asparagus, depending on how asparagus-y you want the soup to be
- 1/2 an onion
- About 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 can of white beans, great northern or cannelini
- 4 cups of chicken broth or water
- 2 springs of thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper or cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of coriander
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 6 oz of plain Greek yogurt
Asparagus Soup Recipe
1. Prepare your asparagus. Wash it off and snap the woody ends. Next, cut the spear ends off and set then aside for the time being. Cut the remaining asparagus stalks into 1" pieces.
2. Chop your onion.
3. Heat one tablespoon of oil over medium to medium high heat until it is warm and shimmering. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent. This should take 3-4 minutes. Then, add the cut asparagus stalks, stir to combine and coat the asparagus with oil, and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
4. While the onion and asparagus cook, drain and rinse your can of beans. Simply dumping thm into a colander and run cold water over them is a great, easy way move remove the beans' slimey canning liquid.
I love this colander. It is Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen's top colander pick. It has so many holes everything drains quickly, but the holes are so small you can actually strain rice. I didn't believe it until I tried it! No more lost noodles getting down in the icky sink when you use this!
5. Add the beans to the onion and asparagus. Next, add the chicken broth, or water, if you're using it instead. Stir thoroughly and make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure nothing sticks. Then, add the coriander, thyme, white pepper or cayenne pepper, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. I personally find about 1/8 of a teaspoon of cayenne and about 1/4 of a teaspoon of black pepper are perfect. I choose not to add any salt. Most commercial chicken broth already has way too much sodium!
6. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat down to maintain a simmer without progressing to a full, rolling boil. Allow the soup to simmer, uncovered, for about half an hour. Stir occasionally and add extra water, if needed.
7. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, until it is shimmering. Add the asparagus tips and cook, stirring frequently, until the tips are pretty looking (cooked, browned, and generally delicious-seeming). Remove the pan from the heat and reserve.
I have this blender/combo set and it is awesome. It makes soups a breeze and the small chopper attachment is easy easier than cutting veggies by hand.
8. Move the pot off the heat and extract the thyme sprigs. Then, use an immersion blender, if you have one, to carefully purée the soup. Make sure not to splash yourself! If you don't have an immersion blender get online and order yourself one! While waiting for it to arrive, purée about 1/3 of the soup at a time in a traditional blender, or even food processor. I love my immersion blender and think it's well worth the investment if you enjoy making soups.
9. Add the Greek yogurt and combine using your immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, add the yogurt to the last batch of soup after puréeing the beans.
10. Off the heat, add about one tablespoon of lemon juice and stir to combine. Garnish with the asparagus tips and serve!
Additional Asparagus Soup Suggestions
The soup is plenty tasty as-is, but there are ways to make it even tastier!
- Cut up a couple of bacon strips, fry them up to make homemade bacon bits, and use the bacon fat to cook the asparagus tips. Garnish the soup with both bacon and asparagus.
- Grate some Parmesan cheese over the soup before serving.
- Add a fresh sprig of thyme before serving for a nice pop of color.
- Try adding additional 'warm' spices, like nutmeg or ginger.
I hope you enjoy this creamy asparagus soup that is packed with protein and lacks the cloying heaviness of so many cream-based soups!