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thinking green

Recipe: asparagus soup

It is still winter here. I accept that with no problem whatsoever. It was snowing this morning and such a thrill to wake up to white skies and dusted pine trees on the hillsides. I embrace it with open arms. But… it has been warm for the past couple of days and I’ve been cooking and shooting lots of greens – feels suspiciously like spring. Kaweah certainly thought so yesterday. It was so warm in the house that I opened the deck door to let the cooler 60°F breeze in. Pup was overjoyed with the open-door policy and didn’t know what to do with herself. She wandered in and out and in and out and when she realized I wasn’t going to close the door, she finally settled on the deck for some good old-fashioned brain-baking.

a little toasty in my winter coat

I remember when a month felt like an eternity as a kid and now as an adult, it just flies past before I know it. Is it because that unit of time grows shorter relative to our age or is it because we’re so busy as adults? This flying of the time makes me a little nervous because I can never get all of the seasonal things in that I want to do. But I think it’s better to have a long list of things to do than a list with nothing on it. Bored people make me batshit.

a forest of asparagus

My refrigerator is full of spring greens right now, which is odd for many many reasons, not the least of which is that we are technically a month out from spring (and where I live, spring doesn’t make an entrance until May). So that, coupled with the weather, made me feel like I was jumping the gun a little. Out of respect for my cherished winter, I made a compromise.

cut the asparagus

I searched for a good asparagus soup recipe. Most of the ones I found called for cream or milk, which may taste good, but doesn’t feel good when you are lactose intolerant (that, I am). Besides, I wanted something a little lighter.

garlic and onions give some depth to the body

Giving up on the recipes, I decided to wing it and make up my own non-dairy version. I just wanted it to be greenish. And delicious. Keeping in mind a few pointers from chef during our knife skills class, I decided to sauté the ingredients for better flavor.

sauté to a beautiful green color

finger on the button, ready to purée

When the vegetables were just done, I emptied them into the food processor and processed the hell out of them. I had to add a little chicken broth to help it along, but after a few minutes, I realized the soup would be more of a rustic purée rather than a silky purée. Perhaps next time I will employ my uber-wonderful food mill (which only occurred to me as I slurped the soup down…)

looks gorgeous, smelled fabulous

I heated some butter and flour together for thickener and used chicken broth for the soup base. The purée lost a tad of its greeness when I poured it back into the pot and brought it all to a boil. I think next time I will boil the chicken broth/flour/butter, then remove from heat and mix in the purée to see if that preserves the color a little better. A dash of lemon juice and some ground pepper were added and it was ready to serve. The soup itself was terrific, but I have to agree with Jeremy that the added sprinkle of bacon and the little grilled cheese sandwiches that I used for garnish rounded the whole thing out.

dress it up in a bowl

or party it up in shots with mini grilled cheese sandwiches

Asparagus Soup
[print recipe]

1 lb. asparagus spears, bottoms trimmed
2 tbsps vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsps flour
1 quart chicken broth
1-2 tsps lemon juice

Cut the asparagus spears into 2-inch pieces. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or pot. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions. Sauté until fragrant. Add the asparagus to the pot, season with salt, and stir-fry until the spears turn a deep green. Do not overcook! Remove from heat and empty the vegetables into a food processor or blender or food mill. Purée the asparagus (I added about a cup of the chicken broth). In the same pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until it foams. Pour the chicken broth into the pan a little at a time and stir to incorporate (so you avoid chunks of flour-butter floating around in the broth). Pour in the remaining chicken broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the purée. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

40 nibbles at “thinking green”

  1. charlane says:

    oh….that sounds so yummy and the thought of these and the tiny toasted cheese – heaven!

  2. Jenny says:

    Love it – and the tiny sandwiches – great!

  3. Phoo-D says:

    Beautiful color, and I agree the tiny grilled cheese is irresistible!

  4. Irene says:

    Awesome! I’m a sucker for anyting mini.

  5. Bridget says:

    Ah, the garnish creativity is so fun.

  6. Juliana says:

    Love your pictures! Everything look so yummy!

  7. barbara says:

    I love the mini shots Jen. I add a potato to all my soups as a thickener. Just dice it and throw it with the other veggies.

  8. Mrs Ergül says:

    pretty pretty asparagus! I shun away from soup that calls for cream/milk too because more often than not they turn out too creamy then I will have liked. I’m bookmarking this! Thanks for sharing Jen!

  9. Adam says:

    Love your site. Read it all the time. But 2 words: anchor links.

  10. Vicki says:

    The mini grilled cheeses are just too cool!

  11. tara says:

    Love, love, love. So pretty, so lovely, so what February needs. I sometimes add a touch of blanched spinach to my asparagus soup – a totally cheating way to up the green factor, without a flavor compromise. Terrible of me, I know. The grilled cheese sandwiches are adorable.

  12. cindy says:

    kaweah looks so content…love it.

    the soup sounds/looks wonderful! i have been eating a ton of asparagas, it just keeps showing up at the store and i just keep buying it.

  13. mary says:

    You’re AMAZING. The mini grilled cheese…

  14. Rosa says:

    what a delightful soup! A taste of spring…



  15. peabody says:

    Your pup looks like mine does in front of the fire.
    The soup is a gorgeous color….love the little shot glasses of soup.

  16. Culinarywannabe says:

    I can’t wait for spring! What a cheery recipe, even though it is still chilly outside.

  17. Nate says:

    I could really go for a good brain bake in the sun. Let all the cares melt away. Ahhh.

    I never used to like asparagus because of the thing it does to your pee. But I’m getting over it because asparagus is so yummy. We did a quinoa salad with shrimp and asparagus the other night that was so tasty!

  18. Lily says:

    Looks awesome! And perfect because I have a bunch in the fridge, more than I know what to do with it. Asparagus soup tonight. :)

  19. sugarlens says:

    Love that gorgeous presentation.

  20. Lori says:

    I have been on a asparagus frenzy lately. I am every Spring. I thought about making asparagus soup today and instead went with a frittata with spinach as well. I just love asparagus! This soup sounds like a good one!

  21. Macie says:

    YUMM!!! I love asparagus, and those shot glasses are too cool.

  22. SallyBR says:

    The soup shots are gorgeous!
    I’ve been making lots of soups with no cream or milk – mostly the veggie, sauteed with onions and pureed – haven’t tried asparagus because I was afraid it would be too “stringy”

    I will have to use your recipe, and maybe put the food mill to work – wait, I DO NOT HAVE ONE! :-)

  23. White On Rice Couple says:

    When it was 60 degrees we thought it was winter. The soup looks deliciously spring. Jeremy was on the money with bacon. Love bacon and asparagus together. Todd -WORC

  24. Margie says:

    Jenzie, my daughter is in town and has just completed her first marathon. I have missed your blog for a few days. Actually, I’ve done something I don’t normally do…scanned, not read. I am simply posting to say,


    Be back soon to read and enjoy.

  25. Melissa says:

    Great non-recipe. I had difficulty finding a perfect one for broccoli because everyone seems to want to do it with cheddar. So I had to trust my better judgment to make it what I want – and mine didn’t turn out as verdant as I would have liked either. Live and learn!

    I’ve heard that time flies by more quickly as adults because of routine. When we’re younger we’re doing/seeing/learning/experiencing new things so frequently it makes our lives seem fuller. The advice is that if you want your life to “slow down” that you have to keep trying new things.

    Though that doesn’t seem to be a problem for you haha.

  26. Hayley says:

    This soup sounds amazing – so smooth and creamy. And that vibrant green color is really pretty. I can’t wait for Spring. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Margie says:

    This sounds fantastic, is beautiful, and must be so refreshing to the palate after all the stews and regular soups of winter. I’ve noticed some wonderful asparagus appearing in our local markets these past few weeks. I believe this is a must-do.

  28. Tracy says:

    The green is so bright looking, and those cute little shot glasses are lovely.

  29. cindy says:

    I have no prob. with dairy, but I think the creamy taste it gives gets in the way of asparagus in soup. I like it just like this.

    Did you really serve it in shot glasses with mini grills? That’s just amazing.

  30. jenyu says:

    Charlane – they’re quite nice together :)

    Jenny – thanks!

    Phoo-D – they were fun to make too.

    Irene – I like mini foods, so much fun.

    Bridget – I should have a party for all of the toddlers in my neighborhood.

    Juliana – thanks!

    Barbara – mmm, sounds good and a good tip!

    Mrs. E – I like creamy soups, but they are so heavy at times and also hard on my system. Great, hope you like it!

    Adam – dude, I have so much work to do on this site – it’s in the queue for me and my spare time.

    Vicki – thanks!

    Tara – that sounds like a good way to spruce up the green (and I love spinach). Thanks!

    Cindy – I eat a lot of asparagus, but I get *so* excited when it’s really fresh, fat, and sweet!

    Mary – :)

    Rosa – yes, spring! Whenever it actually arrives :)

    Peabody – thanks, chica.

    Culinarywannabe – perfect soup weather, no?

    Nate – aren’t you living in the land of eternal sun? Asparagus is definitely worth the pee thing ;)

    Lily – woohoo!

    Sugarlens – thank you :)

    Lori – frittata sounds great too!

    Macie – the shots are muy fun.

    SallyBR – if you remove the fibrous bases, then the soup should be pretty good to go.

    WORC – oh, we’ll have to toughen you Californians up before you come to Colorado! More fleece! More hats! :) Bacon makes *everything* good.

    Margie – okay.

    Melissa – So I guess this means I should become a stunt woman or something – you know, something new each day? :) oh, I actually like my routine :) I just like a routine of skiing and cooking and messing with my pup – ha ha.

    Hayley – you’re so welcome!

    Margie – and it’s good for you!

    Tracy – they’re fun :)

    Cindy – yes, I like asparagus unadulterated. I didn’t serve it. I just did it for a photo shoot/assignment and so I drank one and poured the rest back into the pot for Jeremy and I to have for dinner that night :) But I’d do it for a party of mature adults!

  31. Laura says:

    Yum this sounds awesome. I too am always amazed by the flood of spring veggies into my market in February–we are a long way from spring here too. I roasted asparagus recently and just kept opening the oven to sniff bc it smelled like spring to me….

  32. jenyu says:

    Laura – that’s so cute! I do that when I bake up berries :)

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  35. Melody Star says:

    I used this recipe, but substituted potatoes for the thickening agent and they were wonderful. If you add a little bit of herbs de Provence, it has a nice French twist to the recipe.

    Thank you for a marvelous tasting alternative to cream based asparagus soup. It was so good and healthier too!

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  37. Joe says:

    Delicious! Made this last night for my creamy-soup averse wife. We both loved it! Going to make it again tonight to give to couple who are new parents.

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