Cream of Asparagus Soup

One of my absolute favorite days of the year can’t be marked on a calendar or planned in advance. It’s the first moment in March when I walk into the store and see a big, beautiful display of well-priced asparagus. My favorite spring veggie has returned at last! Let’s celebrate with vibrant bowls of this luscious Cream of Asparagus Soup.

The BEST Healthy Cream of Asparagus Soup! This rich, velvety soup tastes like the Pioneer Woman’s but is made without cream! Quick, easy recipe that’s perfect for spring. Top with bacon or omit to make the asparagus soup vegan {gluten free; dairy free friendly}

Asparagus season is preciously short. Every year, I spend the last several weeks of winter impatiently awaiting its arrival.

I’m still holding out for locally grown asparagus (Wisconsin produce runs a month or more behind the warmer zones of the country), but if you think that the gorgeous green stalks of $1.99/pound asparagus that are gracing our store’s shelves hasn’t lured me into a spring tizzy, well…you clearly have never watched me take down a bowl of fresh asparagus soup (or an asparagus tart or pretty much any one of these asparagus recipes).

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I’m not alone in my asparagus fervor either.

Last night, my mother-in-law dropped four pounds of fresh asparagus off at our house because she was overzealous in her purchasing and wouldn’t be able to finish it all before leaving town.

Guess which lucky gal is having more Cream of Asparagus Soup this week!

Fresh asparagus

As much as I love Cream of Asparagus Soup, I rarely order it out, as most restaurant versions I’ve tried are all about the cream and leave the asparagus as a casual afterthought.

I wanted more from my Cream of Asparagus Soup, and you should too.

Yes, asparagus soup should be creamy, but it also must genuinely celebrate this special spring vegetable.

Since I planned to eat my Cream of Asparagus Soup for lunch during the week, I wanted it to be healthy too.

An easy recipe for Cream of Asparagus Soup without Cream!

To achieve my creamy-but-healthy goal, I tried this Cream of Asparagus Soup a few different ways:

  • Cream of Asparagus Soup with Milk: Meh. It was too thin and (forgive my lack of vocabularly creativity here) milky.
  • Cream of Asparagus Soup, Vegan: I also tried coconut milk in an experimental vegan version, and while it wasn’t bad, the coconut flavor overpowered the asparagus more than I wanted.
  • Cream of Asparagus Soup, Barefoot Contessa: Since Ina seems to know all the answers, I referenced her Spring Pea Soup in Foolproof (one of my all-time fave cookbooks) for inspiration. The leeks stayed, and I also couldn’t resist keeping the crispy ham on top. For this Cream of Asparagus Soup, I updated Ina’s Spanish ham to bacon which is easier to find, but you can certainly keep the ham if you prefer.
  • Cream of Asparagus Soup without Cream: Believe it or not, THIS WAS THE WINNER!

Here are my secrets to the most decadent-tasting Cream of Asparagus Soup that’s surprisingly light on calories.

Low calorie Cream of Asparagus Soup

The Secrets to Healthy Cream of Asparagus Soup 

Instead of heavy cream, I added Yukon gold potatoes, which have a rich, creamy texture and naturally buttery flavor. You can’t taste them; rather, the potatoes give the Cream of Asparagus soup the luxurious, velvety texture I was after, no heavy cream required.

My other trick to making this a creamy soup without cream is Greek yogurt. I’ve been a devoted fan of adding Greek yogurt to my vegetable soups even since I first tried it in this Roasted Carrot Soup. It’s just as wonderful here too.

Whether you are looking for a crowd-pleasing dish for your Easter gathering or a healthy spring meal you can make and enjoy throughout the week, this healthy and easy asparagus soup is a perfect choice.

The BEST Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe

Asparagus, welcome back! I did miss you so.

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Cream of Asparagus Soup

The BEST Healthy Cream of Asparagus Soup! This rich, velvety soup tastes decadent but is made without cream. A quick, easy recipe that’s perfect for spring.

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices thick cut bacon (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped leeks (white and light green parts); or swap yellow onion or shallot
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt, plus additional for serving (do not use fat free or it may curdle and the soup will not be as creamy)

Directions:

  1. If serving with bacon: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and prepare according to this guide for Baked Bacon. Crumble or dice and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or similar medium/large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and potatoes cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, asparagus, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. (You can also carefully transfer it to a blender or food processor in batches and blend it that way. Be careful as hot soup tends to splatter!) Return the blended soup to the pot and let cool a few minutes. Stir in the Greek yogurt, then season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Remember that if you are adding the bacon on top, it will also be salty, so be careful not to overdo it.
  4. Serve hot, topped with crumbled bacon, a sprinkle of fresh chives, and an extra dollop of Greek yogurt as desired.
  • To make vegetarian, omit the bacon or try swapping it for the roasted chickpea “croutons” in my recipe for Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad. To make vegan: omit the Greek yogurt or swap for a non-dairy yogurt. Omit bacon.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 m months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat gently on the stove top or in the microwave.
All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 4), without bacon

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 171 Calories
  • Total Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg
  • Sodium: 260mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Protein: 10g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

The BEST Healthy Cream of Asparagus Soup! This rich, velvety soup tastes like the Pioneer Woman’s but is made without cream! Quick, easy recipe that’s perfect for spring. Top with bacon or omit to make the asparagus soup vegan {gluten free; dairy free friendly} #asparagus #soup

The BEST Healthy Cream of Asparagus Soup! This rich, velvety soup tastes like the Pioneer Woman’s but is made without cream! Quick, easy recipe that’s perfect for spring. Top with bacon or omit to make the asparagus soup vegan {gluten free; dairy free friendly} #asparagus #soup

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

19 comments

  1. You are not alone in asparagus fervor, please count me in! I just love this soup. It not just tastes awesome but also looks delicious.

  2. Perfect comforting dish since our Mr. Weatherman announces more snow for the weekend. Thank you !

    Rating: 5
  3. I love when asparagus prices finally come down to a reasonable price! Time to get all those asparagus recipe going :-) This sounds just amazing, and I’m so surprised the version without cream is the winner!

    Rating: 5
  4. In addition to loving your recipes, I love your writing, and I couldn’t help but laugh when right after your statement “Since I planned to eat my Cream of Asparagus Soup for lunch during the week, I wanted it to be healthy too,” there’s a picture of the soup with two giant slabs of bacon on top :) But I get it–the healthier the soup, the more fun toppings we can add! Thanks for sharing Erin!

  5. This looks so good! While I don’t care for cooked asparagus (love it raw, especially in salads when it gets shaved – so tender), I make it all the time for my husband. And another weird thing is that I actually like creamy asparagus soup. Can’t wait to try this recipe – potatoes: who would have thought they could make it so creamy, huh? Yes, yes, yes to the huge hunks of bacon!!!

  6. As a postscript, I checked out the pea soup you mentioned of Ina’s – I have 6 of her cookbooks, so have made many of her recipes. You should try the tomato soup with the grilled cheese croutons in the Foolproof cookbook. It’s really nice and comforting.

  7. Oooh, that bacon on top!!

  8. This soup is amazing as are all of your recipes ! Thank you for sharing your talent! 

  9. This is the perfect soup for when it’s spring tomorrow, but minus1 centigrade outside. Thank you for a wonderful recipe that I can feel good about eating.

    Rating: 5
  10. A great recipe to make my holiday more joyful. I will try this soup. It’s looking delicious. Thanks, Erin for sharing this amazing recipe. :)

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