Spring is here, and both my husband, Roy, and I love asparagus. I was searching the web for a creamy asparagus soup recipe without the cream.  I found a wonderful asparagus soup recipe on ahead of thyme.com.  I altered it a bit to suit our tastes. The biggest change I made was adding a parmesan rind to the soup.  I had read that cooks should never discard the hard end of parmesan, as it is great in soups.  I had never done this, but added the rind for this recipe, and it was excellent. Will certainly do this again when I am making soup.  The original recipe did not include it, so you could make it without, but I really think it added great taste and depth to the soup.

I used asparagus tips (cut in half) for garnish. The addition of a potato to this recipe added body and a touch of creaminess, without the cream. I add a lot of pepper throughout the process for a touch of heat, and you can see the black specks of pepper floating around.

I love parmesan, so I added some of top of my soup.

I baked some sourdough bread this morning, and it was a great complement to the creamy asparagus soup, made without the cream! Roy said the soup and bread combo for lunch was “tasty.” High praise from Roy.

This is really a simple and delicious soup.  Enjoy!


  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  •  3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced (depends on how much you like–I always go for a lot)
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 cups asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces, woody ends removed
  • 4-1/2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional—if you love lemon flavor, add this)
  • Parmesan rind (hard part of the end of a triangle of parmesan cheese)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (along the way)
  • Several asparagus tips  (optional for garnish)
  • Shaved parmesan (optional for garnish)


  1. In a large pot, add the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and celery for several minutes until they are soft. Add in the garlic and stir briskly for a few minutes. Drop in the potatoes and asparagus and mix well. Add salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Pour in the stock and bring to boil. Bring temperature down to a simmer. Add in parmesan rind.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and after about four minutes, pull out two large asparagus tips for every bowl of soup you are serving for garnish and set aside; continue to simmer soup for about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and soft. Stir occasionally and break up parmesan rind as it melts.
  4. Puree the soup in batches using your blender and pour it back to a pot. (I usually cover the blender with a towel, so none of the liquid squirts out).
  5. Add the lemon zest (if using) and juice and black pepper and salt to taste. On low, continue to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, letting it heat all the way through.
  6. Slice reserved asparagus tips in half and place on top of soup in circle; add shaved parmesan on top, if desired.