For me, the arrival of fresh asparagus is a sure sign of spring – almost as much as the bright yellow daffodils popping up, or the new buds appearing on the trees. Of course, fresh asparagus is readily available year-round at the supermarket, but it’s truly at its finest and most flavorful when it’s in season in the spring. And this recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup is one of my favorite springtime recipes. This soup has the fresh green flavor of asparagus, with a creaminess and a little bit tang from a bit of sour cream (or yogurt if you prefer). Top it with a few chopped fresh chives or other fresh herbs for a little extra burst of green springtime flavor. It’s a really elegant soup that couldn’t be simpler to make.
And asparagus is one of our more interesting vegetables. While many other common vegetables are the roots, fruits, or leaves of a plant, asparagus spears are actually the green shoots of the plant. These shoots, also called asparagus spears, are throughout a small window of time in the spring. After this window, the plant is allowed to mature into beautiful, fern-like foliage, effectively ending asparagus the harvest until the following spring. Depending on the local climate, asparagus harvest season occurs sometime in the range of February-June, with its peak season occurring in April or May. And asparagus is a perennial plant that will come back on its own year after year. In fact, a patch of asparagus can continue to produce for 15-20 years or more. So if you are interested in growing your own asparagus, be prepared to have your asparagus patch around for a long time!
- The recipe calls for sour cream, but yogurt will work, too. It’s best to use the full-fat version of either sour cream or yogurt because there is less risk of curdling, and the finished soup will be much creamier.
- I like to top my soup with a few fresh chives, but use any fresh herbs that you like. Dill or tarragon goes especially well with asparagus. And if you don’t have any fresh herbs on hand, feel free to skip it – the soup will still be delicious.
- You will need to blend this soup with either an immersion blender or an electric countertop blender. Depending upon your blender, you may find a few fibrous bits of asparagus remaining in the blended soup. If you prefer a smooth soup (which I do) simply strain it through a mesh sieve to remove these bits.
As always, if you try this recipe, I hope you love it! Please let me know in the comments below.
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- 2 pounds asparagus
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock for vegetarian)
- 1 cup sour cream
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh chives for garnish (optional)
- 1. Wash the asparagus and drain. Snap off the tough, woody end of each spear and discard. Roughly chop the asparagus spears into 2-inch pieces. Set aside.
- 2. In a Dutch oven or soup pot, cook the diced onion in butter over medium heat until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes). Add in the asparagus and the stock, and bring to a simmer. Allow to gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until asparagus is tender.
- 3.Remove from heat, allow soup to cool slightly, and then (carefully) blend everything using a regular blender or a stick blender. If necessary, strain soup through a fine mesh strainer after blending to remove any fibrous bits. Return soup to the pot.
- 4. Add the sour cream to the soup, stirring to blend.
- 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chives, dill, or tarragon (optional).
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