When asparagus is in season, I can’t get enough of it.  And that includes making this yummy cream of asparagus soup.  While I’ll use asparagus as my vegetable for many a dinner, the soup itself is a perfect light dinner, maybe with a simple salad or crusty bread.  And it also freezes well, so that I can make large batches and pull it out throughout the year.  This cream of asparagus soup recipe is my basic version, which is very simple and quick to make.  There are a ton of different ways to spin the recipe and I’d encourage you to experiment.  Hope you enjoy it!

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success

To make the best cream of asparagus soup, make sure to do the following:

  1. Use good, fresh asparagus, not canned or frozen.  The fresh simply will taste better, and have a better color than anything canned or frozen
  2. Use low sodium, good quality chicken stock (not those cubes).  Even better, if you can make your own chicken stock do it  (vegetable stock is fine for a vegetarian version)
  3. I like to add some fresh baby spinach to the soup, which helps keep the color a vibrant green.  Don’t like spinach, try basil or parsley
  4. Finally, taste as you cook.  Especially for ingredients like salt, pepper, and the cream, the right amounts are variable based on personal tastes, and the only way to get them “right” is to add some, taste, and adjust.

Ingredients (for 4)

  • 1 small leek cleaned and coarsely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus
  • 1 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Cream of Asparagus Soup

  • Add the leek, onion and garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion starts to become translucent, but not browned
  • Add the thyme and the chicken stock
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Chop the asparagus in 1 – 2 inch pieces, add them to the soup stock, and bring to a simmer
  • Cook for 4 – 5 minutes after it simmers, or until the asparagus pieces are just tender
  • Add the spinach to the soup and cook for another minute
  • Using a stick (or regular) blender, blend the soup until it reaches a smooth consistency
  • Add the cream, stir it in, and then taste
  • Do any final adjustments by adding a bit of lemon juice (to brighten the flavor of the soup) salt & pepper (to bring out more flavor), or cream (to add body or richness)
  • Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and the Asparagus garnish described below
  • Serve and enjoy!

Optional Garnish

  • Use a potato peeler to peel off thin layers of the asparagus stalk (prior to chopping)
  • Hold the strips to the side
  • While the soup cooks, heat a small pot of vegetable (or of frying) oil to 375 degrees (only fill the pot 1/2 way up with oil to prevent spil overs)
  • Dust the peeled asparagus strips with flour, shaking off any excess
  • Fry the asparagus strips until slightly browned and crispy, remove and season with salt

Wine Recommendation with Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus is generally very hard to pair wine with.  It tends to clash with the tannin in red wines and the oak in chardonnay.  With the addition of the cream it makes pairing a bit easier.  I’d suggest a lighter white with a good amount of acid, and perhaps a bit of sweetness, like a Riesling, or Gewurztraminer.  Enjoy!

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