Chef John's Cream of Asparagus Soup


For me, asparagus is one of those rare vegetables that shines brightest when enjoyed in soup form. Here's an ultra-easy and gorgeously colored cream of asparagus soup recipe.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr


  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • salt to taste

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste (Optional)

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream (Optional)

Cream Topping:

  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (Optional)

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (Optional)

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (Optional)


  1. Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add minced onion and salt; cook and stir until onion is soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

  2. Pour chicken broth and water into the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 15 minutes.

  3. Place asparagus pieces in simmering broth. Cook, stirring occasionally until asparagus is just tender and still bright green, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth, about 3 minutes.

  5. For a finer texture, strain soup through a mesh strainer. Return strained soup to the pot and place on the stove.

  6. Turn heat to low. Season with cayenne pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg. Adjust salt to taste. Whisk 1/2 cup cream into soup.

  7. Place 1/4 cup cream, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Whisk until frothy and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

  8. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle a spoonful of Parmigiano-Reggiano-lemon cream on top of each serving and swirl to form a random design.

  9. Sprinkle with a pinch of lemon zest and cayenne pepper, if desired.

    close up view of Cream of Asparagus Soup garnished with cream and cayenne, in a bowl

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

187 Calories
15g Fat
11g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 187
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 60mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 12mg 60%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 391mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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