Basic Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup
Ray Kachatorian / Getty Images
  • Total: 22 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
165 Calories
9g Fat
17g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 Servings
Amount per serving
Calories 165
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 322mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Protein 5g
Calcium 141mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple cream of asparagus soup is an excellent way to use fresh asparagus. The soup is made with a basic white sauce, milk, and asparagus. The asparagus cooking liquid adds extra flavor to the dish. Top each serving of the soup with small cooked asparagus tips. It makes a lovely lunch paired with crusty rolls or you can serve it as the soup course for a meal.

Asparagus is a spring vegetable and it may be one of the earliest ones you can harvest from your garden. If you have a local farmer's market, you will find asparagus soon after they open for the season. While you can find it imported from around the world most times of the year in your supermarket, it's lovely to be able to eat locally and seasonally.

White sauce, or béchamel, is one of the standard sauces that you should master to make casseroles, gravy, cheese sauce, or simply serve over vegetables. Don't be scared by the French name because it is a simple base of butter and flour cooked together, seasoned with salt and pepper, then whisked with milk to make a smooth sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ​salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (or white pepper)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 to 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter.

  3. Blend in flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

  4. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Gradually add the milk; cook, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Set aside.

  6. Wash the asparagus, trim away the woody ends, and cut the spears into 1/2-inch pieces.

  7. Cook the asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until tender, for about 5 minutes.

  8. Drain the asparagus, reserving the cooking liquid. Set aside a few of the asparagus tips for garnish, if desired.

  9. Mash or blend the remaining asparagus; set aside.

  10. Add enough boiling water to the cooking liquid to make 1 cup; add the white sauce and pureed asparagus.

  11. Heat thoroughly; season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

  12. Top the soup with the reserved asparagus tips and serve.

Storage

Refrigerate any leftover soup in an airtight container for up to four days. You can also freeze portions of the soup for up to three months.

Tips

  • You will need a whisk to get your sauce smooth. Simply stirring it with a wooden spoon usually won't get all of the lumps out.
  • Save the trimmed woody asparagus ends to use when making stock. You can freeze them till you're ready.

Recipe Variations

  • For a richer soup, use half-and-half, either replacing all of the milk or half of the milk. Or, use cream to replace 1/2 cup of the milk.
  • Lighten and add a depth of flavor to the soup by using half chicken stock or vegetable stock in place of an equal amount of milk.
  • Top the soup with finely diced ham or crumbled bacon.