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)
- 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.
- Pour in the stock and bring to boil. Bring temperature down to a simmer. Add in parmesan rind.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Slice reserved asparagus tips in half and place on top of soup in circle; add shaved parmesan on top, if desired.