Though spring is in full swing, we’ve still had plenty of rainy, blustery, and just plain gray days around here. Which, I suppose, shouldn’t surprise me – I live in Seattle after all – but right around this time of year, I am ready for the hot, sunny days of summer already. Mother Nature teases me with a couple of giddy, gorgeous days, then another batch of dreariness blows in. So I sigh, then I huddle in, light the fire, wrap up in a blanket, and make a cozy, comforting soup for dinner.
Cream of Asparagus Soup is the best of both worlds. It celebrates the season while also recognizing that spring still needs bowls full of piping hot soup now and then.
I love this soup. I love the gorgeous pale green hue, the luxurious texture, the medley of flavors, and, of course, the fact that it’s incredibly easy to make.
I adapted this one from Gourmet. The original recipe doesn’t call for thyme or garlic, so feel free to try it without – but I think the addition takes it over the top.
- 2 pounds green asparagus
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, diced (about 3 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- Wash asparagus and cut the tips from 20 pieces, about 1½ inches from the top. Boil the tips in two cups salted water (either in a small saucepan or in the microwave) for about two minutes until the tips just begin to get tender. Plunge tips in ice water to stop the cooking and set aside. These will be used for the garnish.
- Chop the remaining asparagus into half-inch pieces. Discard the woody ends.
- In a four-quart pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for about another minute.
- Add the asparagus pieces and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and simmer, covered, until the asparagus is very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender. Use caution – it’s hot! Return to the pot.
- Add the heavy cream and return to a simmer.
- Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with 3-4 asparagus tips.