Enjoy spring’s asparagus harvest in this deliciously creamy, dairy-free Asparagus Soup. It comes together quickly in the pressure cooker or stovetop and freezes beautifully. So tasty, you’ll be going back for seconds.
In light of the frozen tundra you may be experiencing this week during Snowpocalypse, I wish I could send you a piping hot bowl of this Asparagus Soup. It’s warming and yet tastes like spring, a herald of good things to come.
While we don’t get snow here in San Diego, I welcome the arrival of spring all the same. It’s when the grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and produce boxes come alive with fresh, delicious goodies!
You’ll find foods like asparagus and peas, apricots and strawberries going on sale in your stores in the next few weeks if you haven’t already. Potatoes, artichokes, and chard should also be available at good prices soon.
But let’s talk asparagus. It’s so elegant and dignified. But, it’s also pretty fragile—good for just a few days in the fridge. This soup is one great way to make the most of your asparagus purchase, especially if you get a batch with longer woody ends. This will cook down and blend well into soup.
What is asparagus soup?
Asparagus Soup is bursting with spring flavor. It’s a classic, blended soup, often referred to as cream of asparagus, typically enhanced with milk or cream.
Rather than weigh it down with cream, I decided to add one golden potato to thicken it. Instead of chicken broth, I used leeks and mushrooms to add flavor. What you end up with is a dairy-free, vegan soup that is creamy, delicious, and all-veg!
It’s amazing that so much flavor can come from such simple ingredients. For this recipe you’ll need:
- oil – I use olive oil, but you can use any cooking oil, butter, or ghee.
- asparagus – since the soup will be blended, you can use fresh or frozen asparagus, whichever you have or is most affordable.
- leeks – a member of the onion family and a sure sign of spring, leeks add great flavor. However, if you have shallots or onions, you can use those as well.
- mushrooms – white or brown mushrooms work to add a hearty umami to this soup.
- potato – a yukon gold potato adds a lot of creaminess, but you can use another variety if you prefer.
- tarragon – an aromatic herb with an anise like flavor, this is often paired with chicken, fish, and vegetables, and is commonly added to cream of asparagus soup.
This soup is super simple to make, whether you make it in a pot on the stove or in an electric pressure cooker.
- Chop the vegetables and measure out the water and spices.
- Heat the oil in a pot or electric pressure cooker.
- Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the water, asparagus, potatoes, and spices.
- If using the instant pot, secure the lid and close the pressure valve. Set the machine to manual 5 minutes.
- If cooking the soup on the stovetop, simmer for 30 minutes, covered, or until the vegetables are very tender.
- Once the vegetables are cooked, blend the soup until very smooth.
- Serve hot or cold, depending on your preferences.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
Blended soups are excellent for freezing as they reheat quickly from frozen.
- Chill the soup completely. This helps it freeze quickly and reduces the risk of ice crystals.
- Divide it into single-serve or meal-size portions. I like using Soupercubes in the 1-cup size as the frozen blocks fit well into a pint-size mason jar for easy reheating.
- Store the containers in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To serve: simply microwave or reheat in a pot on the stove until hot.
I’ve found asparagus cheap at the store—as low as $0.99/bundle! Time to make the most of it, people! Of course, oven roasted asparagus should be on your list, but so should this soup.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- olive oil – $0.20
- leeks – $1.99
- mushrooms – $0.50
- potato – $0.56
- asparagus – $0.99
- tarragon – $0.05
- salt and pepper $0.03
At these prices, a batch of this soup costs $4.32 or 86 cents per serving. Since asparagus soup tends to be more a restaurant treat, you can bet you’ll save money making your own.
How to save even more:
Working the Good Cheap Eats System will help you get this price point down even further. Here are some specific strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. This ensures that you’ll have your ingredients at the lowest possible price. Load up on leeks, mushrooms, asparagus, and Yukon gold potatoes when you see a sale.
- Use a lower priced ingredient. The leeks are the high ticket price item in this recipe; you can use onions or shallots instead to lower the cost of this recipe.
- Price match. Check your grocery store fliers to see who has the best price on the items on your list.
This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.
- 6-quart electric pressure cooker or heavy stock pot
- medium saucepan
- plastic cutting boards
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife
- wooden spoon
- immersion blender
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek sliced for 1 1/2 cups
- 2 oz mushrooms sliced for 1 cup
- 4 cup water
- 1 lb asparagus spears trimmed and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1 Yukon gold potato cubed for 1 cup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp black pepper
If making in a pot on the stove:
- In a large stockpot on the stovetop heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leeks and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, on medium for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender.
- Add the water, asparagus, potato, salt, tarragon, and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.
If using an electric pressure cooker:
- Turn the machine to saute. Heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leeks and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, on medium for 6 to 8 minutes or until tender.
- Add the water, asparagus, potato, salt, tarragon, and pepper. Secure the lid and turn on the pressure valve. Set the machine to manual for 5 minutes. When the time is up, use the quick release method and remove the lid.
Once the vegetables are tender:
- Blend the soup in batches to your desired consistency, with an immersion blender or in a food processor, according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.
- Chill the soup completely and store in single-serve or meal-size containers. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat: microwave or heat in a pot on the stove until thawed and hot through.
This post was originally published on April 10, 2013. It has been updated for content and clarity.