Asparagus Soup

A day of the year I anticipate most 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, vibrant green asparagus. Praise the heavens and let there be hope that gentler days are ahead, my favorite spring veggie has returned! To help us prepare for the in-kitchen festivities, I’m sharing the recipe for a lusciously velvety, distinctly spring green 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. As soon as it’s here, I fill our menu with this easy  asparagus tartbaked lemon chicken with asparagus, this asparagus vegan risotto, any of these asparagus recipes, and of course today’s easy asparagus soup.

Not only does this creamy asparagus soup celebrate one of the best, most precious vegetables of the season, it does so in a way that manages to be healthy and comforting at the same time, which suits my March mood.

On the one hand, I’m ready to shed winter’s heft and craving something lighter. On the other, it’s still chilly out, and I need comfort food to warm and protect me from winter’s lingering dregs.

This asparagus soup recipe dances the line and delivers on both. It’s exactly what I am craving this March, on into April, and for as long as I can get my happy paws on bountiful asparagus bundles.

Fresh asparagus

How to Make the Best Cream of Asparagus Soup

As much as I love asparagus soup, I rarely order it out, as most restaurant versions make cream of asparagus soup with half and half or heavy whipping cream. Yes, it’s good (who are we kidding here?), but I find that most 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 asparagus soup for lunch during the week, I also wanted it to be healthy (and not send me into an afternoon food coma).

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 vocabulary 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!

Low calorie Cream of Asparagus Soup

Healthy Asparagus Soup—Creamy without Cream!

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

  • 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. (I actually made the asparagus soup with chicken broth!)
  • 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.

Asparagus Soup–A Recipe to Celebrate the Season

I first tuned into the idea of asparagus as the herald of spring back when I read this book. I didn’t grow up with the concept of seasonal eating (meaning eating what’s in season now because it a) tastes its best, b) is kinder to the environment as it doesn’t need to traverse as many miles, c) is a great way to support local growers, and d) stretches your dollar), and the book introduced me to the concept. It’s become one I hold dear.

In the book, the author inherits and moves to a farm with her family in the fall. They plant a wide variety of crops, including asparagus, survive the cold, edgy winter, then stare out at winter impatiently and nervously, wondering when their crops will grow. I think of that book every spring, because one of the earliest chapters is called “Waiting for Asparagus.” When the asparagus arrives, that means spring is here and more life is soon to follow.

The BEST Cream of Asparagus Soup recipe

Dare to be hopeful. Asparagus (and thus spring!) will be here soon. When they arrive, we’ll be ready with this most lovely recipe for easy and healthy Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
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.

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 broth — 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)

Instructions

  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.

Recipe Notes

  • 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.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cream of Asparagus Soup, Healthy Cream Soup Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 4), without bacon) — Calories: 171, 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!

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…

49 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.

    • Asparagus lovers unite! Thanks Seren!

    • The really great thing about this recipe is that it is really two recipes in one. Omit the bacon and asparagus and you have cock-a-leeky soup. Delicious and a favorite in British homes.
      Also being vegetarian I have found the best substitute for cream in any recipe is ( don’t freak out ) non dairy coffee creamers. Like mocha mix or the liquid form coffee mate.. They do not mask the flavor of your food like almond or coconut milk. Also they do not make your soups or stews watery.

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

  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!

  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.

  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. :)

  11. Amazing recipe! Made this for my wife this morning she loved it! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I make a lot of soup.  I make A LOT of soup.  I make a TON of soup.  This is probably the best soup ever!  I didn’t have any leeks so used some yellow onion – it’s rich and creamy without being unhealthy.  Husband is very picky about vegetables and he loved it.  Keeper!

  13. This looks amazing. I LOVE that you use potatoes instead of cream!!! I printed the recipe and am going to make it!! I’d like to know though what brand of hand blender do you use?? Thanks and I can’t wait for your cookbook!!

  14. Nice Erin! I love how you used the yoghurt to give the creamy vibe. I love asparagus soup, and that beautiful light but satisfying flavour it has (:

  15. I just made asparagus soup, then I saw your blog.  Asparagus reminds me of SPRING!!!  I added frozen peas to the veggie stock.  I used a processor to blend everything together; however, there were lots and lots of asparagus  “strings” which were not good.  So, I had to strain it.  What did I do wrong?  My soup was tasty as I added a bit of sour cream, fresh parmesan cheese and sweet paprika on top.

    • Phyllis, I love the idea of peas! My hunch is that your asparagus needed more of the bottoms trimmed off, as that tends to be the most fiberous part. You also might want to cook it until it is a bit more tender. If you decide to try this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Yay for spring!

      • Hi,
        I use only the bottoms of asparagus spears for the soup. I cut them thinner and cook them longer, then puree. My Mom, who is 99, and still at home, was a “Depression era” baby, so everything was used, as much as possible. This way the pretty expensive spears, go on the plate. By the way, as an asparagus grower, the thick stalks are tender, as compared to the thin stringy stalks.

  16. The objective for a lazy lunch brought me to your recipe. That’s very wonderful. Very delicious but not fat at all. Thank you!!!!! <3

  17. If you want to make this Paleo/Keto friendly, instead of potato, use cauliflower. It’s DELICIOUS
    You will be amazed at how creamy it would be. I make it a lot and its a hit with my co workers. It too also freezes well :)

  18. I can’t wait to make this. I have used potatoes in other soups like this to thicken it, so I know that it works. Thanks for your recipe.

  19. I’ll admit that when I saw the email for an asparagus soup, I dismissed it as a recipe I likely would not make; but when my husband returned from the grocery with several bunches of asparagus, I figured I might as well try it. I’m so glad that I did because we both agreed it is an amazing soup. We plan to make more that we can freeze and enjoy when asparagus is out of season again! Thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipes – looking forward to your cookbook!

  20. Made this last night.  Very easy to make. Delicious. 

  21. This sounds amazing! Do you think it would work to make the soup in a slow cooker?

    • Hi Katie! Since this soup comes together so quickly, it’s not designed for long cooktimes. I’d recommend sticking with the stovetop. I hope you enjoy!

  22. Erin,
    WOW ! I’m the cook and bottle washer in the house and always looking for something new to try. My wife and I both were amazed on how well this turned out.
    Thank You !

  23. Delicious. Hope it freezes well because I do not want waste a single drop!

  24. Awesome soup! I made it with a mess of wild asparagus I found. I don’t eat bacon so it was left out. The depth of flavor without cream was fabulous and the color is stunning! Making it for guests tonight and I’ll try it cold this summer.

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