Everybody’s favorite spring vegetable stars in this fresh soup. Our recipe for cream of asparagus soup has a bright spark from plants and a luxe finish from crème fraîche garnished with some easy-to-make Parmesan Crisps. So get out the heavy pot, because it’s time to make a simple French delight for an appetizer or light meal.
- 2 pounds asparagus, woody stems trimmed
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, more to taste
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from half of a small lemon)
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche, plus more for garnish
- Chives, for garnish
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Parmesan crisps (see recipe below), asparagus tips, additional crème fraîche, minced fresh chives
Cream of Asparagus Soup
1. Cut the top 1 inch from the tips of 12 pieces of asparagus and reserve for garnish. Cut the stalks of all the remaining asparagus into half-inch pieces.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and stir until onion has softened, about 2 minutes. Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add broth. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes.
3. While soup simmers, cook reserved asparagus tips in a small pot of boiling, salted water until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
4. Add baby spinach to soup mixture then transfer soup to a blender and puree in batches until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Transfer each batch to a large bowl then return to pot once emptied. Add lemon juice and creme fraiche and stir until incorporated. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, then whisk* in the remaining tablespoon of butter just before serving.
5. To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with parmesan crisps (recipe below), asparagus tips, additional crème fraîche and fresh, minced chives.
This recipe employs a classic French cooking technique called monter au beurre: just prior to serving, a small amount of cold butter is stirred into the soup to impart an extra silky texture and added richness.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. Drop tablespoons of cheese onto baking sheets in 16 equal portions (the cheese will spread as it melts so leave space between each portion).
3. Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese begins to brown at the edges (watch them carefully to prevent burning).
4. Remove baking sheets from oven and transfer cheese crisps to paper towels to drain and cool (cheese will become crisp once cool).
5. Serve crisps immediately with Cream of Asparagus Soup or your favorite dip.