Skinny Asparagus Soup

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!What was the first “fancy” recipe you learned how to make?  Think back.  Way back.  I’m not talking about learning to scramble an egg or make a piece of toast.  (Although a good egg sandwich is still quite respectable!)  I’m talking about a recipe that you were proud to serve to company.  For me, it was Martha Stewart’s Asparagus Gruyere Tart.  (I’m actually not a huge fan of Martha, but I can say that she makes a mean asparagus tart!)

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!That asparagus tart was not the first recipe I learned to make.  That honor has to go to my mother’s chocolate cake…or her banana bread…or her southern-style buttermilk biscuits.  But the asparagus tart was the first time I picked a new recipe and tried it out on my own.  And it turned out quite well!  Of course, I had to google Gruyere cheese to figure out what it was…and then I had to go to a “fancy” grocery store there in Baton Rouge to find it.  But that tart came together in the end, and it’s been a staple dinner party food in our house ever since.  (In fact, I’m pretty sure I made that tart the first time I cooked dinner for Laura…and she must’ve liked it since she married me!)

So what is your first fancy recipe that you learned to make?

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!I’ve been on a soup kick lately.  I’m sure part of that is because it’s still quite frigid here in upstate New York.  So the other day I decided to make soup using asparagus as the base.  I didn’t want to add a ton of calories by using heavy cream, so I just stirred in some light sour cream once the soup was done.  (After all, I’d rather save those calories for a slice of this Chocolate Chocolate Cake!)

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!This Skinny Asparagus Soup is seriously one of the easiest recipes ever.  You do need an immersion blender, though, as pureeing the sauteed asparagus is a pretty essential step to turning those asparagus stalks into something you eat with a spoon.  I chose to save the tips from the asparagus and stir them into the soup at the end…but you could skip that step and just puree the stalks and tips together.  And I did add a couple croutons to the top of this soup because, well, croutons.  (I might have snacked on a couple croutons dipped in soup while I took these photos.)

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!Without the croutons, I estimate that this soup clocks in at just about 80 calories a cup.  That means I can have a nice big bowl of this Skinny Asparagus Soup…and still have room for dessert!  Because that’s how I roll.

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!

Skinny Asparagus Soup

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 154kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds asparagus ends trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup croutons or toasted bread cubes

Instructions

  • Cut top 1-1½” off tips of the asparagus; set tips aside for later. Cut remaining asparagus into ½” pieces.
  • Using a large stock pot, add olive oil. Place over medium-low heat. Once hot, add onions and garlic. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onions begin to turn translucent.
  • Add asparagus pieces and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add chicken stock, salt and pepper; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 18-20 minutes, or until asparagus is very tender.
  • Meanwhile, place the asparagus tips in a pan with 1” of water. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, set tips aside.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Stir in sour cream and asparagus tips.
  • Spoon soup into bowls. Before serving, garnish with croutons.

This Skinny Asparagus Soup makes for a great low-calorie meal on a chilly day!

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38 Comments

  1. I can’t remember the first fancy dish I made. I think I’ve always been cooking, even as a child. However, there must have been a first, and I’m certain there were many fails. I’ve wiped those from my memory though 🙂 This asparagus soup looks fancy enough to serve to guests and would be perfect for a light dinner!

    1. Haha! Oh, there have most definitely been fails here, too. But that’s part of learning anything new, right? Hopefully there are more successes than fails as time goes on, too! This soup is indeed a good one…and super low calorie which is always a bonus. Thanks, Kathy! 🙂

  2. I like how you roll, David 😉 Have something lower on calories and save room for dessert. Sounds like a plan to me!

    I use my immersion blender ALLLLLL the time. It’s one of those kitchen tools that I love. Hmmmm, first fancy recipe? Probably a pasta dish with mushrooms and herbs and a creamy sauce. I still think about that dish and I should actually make soon. It was super good! When I think about how far I’ve come from when I started cooking, I can hardly believe it. I definitely had my fair share of duds years ago (and sometimes still do….don’t we all?).

    I’m always in the mood for a good soup, no matter the weather. Love how you used the asparagus tips for garnish….great idea! And this one comes just in time. I see asparagus everywhere these days. It is spring after all…though the snow on the ground here indicates otherwise, lol 😀

    1. Hah…that is most definitely how I roll! I know I’m gonna want dessert, so I might as well plan for it with whatever else I eat that day. 🙂 Oh man, that creamy pasta dish sounds amazing! I have a serious weakness for cream-based pasta sauces.

      And yes, the asparagus in the store means it’s officially Spring. But someone needs to tell that to Old Man Winter. *grumbles* haha! Thanks, Dawn!

  3. Hi David. I make an asparagus soup that is similar to this, but I do add a cup of half and half. Like you, I reserve the tips for garnish. We usually have fresh asparagus coming up in the garden by Easter and I am looking forward to using it in many different ways. One of the first things I remember making was Baked Alaska when I was eleven.

    1. So I set out to avoid using the cream on this soup, Dorothy. (Now I have no problem with a good cream-based soup, but I just wanted to keep this one super healthy. And it worked!) I’m so excited about Spring produce. I remember you telling me about your asparagus last year, and I remember getting jealous back then, too. Ours just never took off up here…too cold probably. But it’ll be nice and cheap in the grocery store soon! Oooo…Baked Alaska! I don’t think I’ve ever attempted that one, but I have my Mom’s recipe and it always jumps out at me. Maybe one day! Thank you, my friend!

    1. Oh man, I am in constant awe of your macarons, Manali! They always look so amazing. 🙂 You should post another variety of those soon…you know, because it’s Spring and all! This soup is indeed comforting and perfect for these chilly early “Spring” days. (I say Spring in quotes because it still feels like Winter here!)

  4. I think the first fancy recipe I learned how to make was a classic cheesecake! And then the first really fancy dessert I developed was my vegan German chocolate cake. I love asparagus in any capacity and this looks truly delicious- also so does that tart- and I can’t wait to give this healthy meal a try!

    1. Hey there, Medha! You know…classic cheesecake is a really good one! I still remember when I finally learned how to make a good cheesecake. And then it’s so easy to change the flavors. And now you have me craving a slice of your German chocolate cake, too! Haha! 🙂 This soup is insanely easy to make…and it’s perfect for these early Spring days when asparagus is cheap at the store but it’s still cold outside. Enjoy!

  5. David! You read my mind, I’ve been dying to make some asparagus soup for awhile now, but I was thinking of an Asian-flavored soup with clear broth maybe adding some shrimp for protein. I’m not surprised your version looks wildly better than anything I was imagining. Oh, fancy fancy 🙂 Asparagus Gruyere Tart does sound delicious. My first fancy recipe was a polenta and cheese soufflé. I made it a few time and over baked it because I didn’t know exactly what t a souffle was. After 3-4 times I got the hang of it, and it became one of my signature side dishes. I ate it so much I got tired of it, but you just sparked a resurgence of my first fancy recipe. I should make it sometime this week.

    1. Hey, your version sounds pretty darned fun, Mary! I like the idea of getting some protein into this soup, and shrimp would be a good way to do it. You could use this soup as a base and then play with the flavors/seasonings to get that Asian-inspired version going. 🙂

      Oh my gosh. Polenta + cheese souffle? That sounds super fancy…and it also sounds like something I need to eat right now! You should totally make it again soon. And if you get tired of it again, then just send it to me. Hah!

  6. I was cracking up at your comment that you’re not a huge fan of Martha – she’s one of those very talented women who is not too warm and fuzzy. I remember a spoof list of her ‘Things to Do in April’ – at the top was, “Lay Faberge Egg.” Sounds about right. 🙂

    My first attempt at a ‘fancy’ were cream puffs. The funny part is that they aren’t difficult to make, but I was very proud of myself. 😉

    And this soup! I’ve always loved asparagus in any form, but I’ve never made soup with it. I’m going to try your recipe this spring for sure!

    1. Hahahaha…”lay faberge egg.” That totally had me laughing out loud this morning, Marissa. Thank you! I’m going to google the rest of that list shortly!

      So I hear ya about cream puffs. They sound super fancy, but they are one of those surprisingly easy recipes to make…plus, they’re kinda fun to make! And the look on everyone’s face when you bring out cream puffs is priceless. 🙂

      You should totally try making soup out of asparagus! It’s perfect for these early Spring days when asparagus is on sale at the store, but yet it’s still cold outside. Thanks, my friend!

  7. Hmm that’s a good question, I wonder what the first “fancy” dish I made was… can’t recall for the life of me, but all of your talk about delicious dishes is making me hungry! Skinny soup is my favorite because it’s still nice & filling, yet light.

    1. Yes! This soup is super (souper?) skinny…and it’s loaded with fresh asparagus which is always fun. We actually just roasted the leftover asparagus for dinner last night. Thanks, Nicole! 🙂

  8. We have had a bundle of asparagus sitting in our fridge for almost 2 weeks. Ha Ha Ha! We officially look at it as “THE ASPARAGUS”….. But now, NOW, we have a way to cook it!

    1. GIGI! That asparagus is going to start to develop thoughts and opinions about you if you just keep staring at it. 🙂 I say turn it into soup! It’s super (souper?) easy, and super light in calories, too. Thanks, my friend!

  9. David – speaking of rolls – you sure are on one heck of a healthy one (minus your jabs at THAT droolicious chocolate cake)! There was that carrot dip and that healthy single serve dessert and now this asparagus soup! I’ve gotta admit, I don’t think I’ve ever had asparagus soup before – what a fantastic idea – now I need to get me an immersion blender – loving those tips in there for deco, too – if I put some chorizo in this, Lil Shashi won’t come near it and I can enjoy it all by myself 🙂
    Now am intrigued by that asparagus tart or should I say tart-that-got-her-to-say-yes? I can take Martha in small doses but I haven’t ever made anything of hers. I think the first fancy (in my eyes) recipe I tackled way back in the day was a herbed roast chicken by Jamie Oliver – think it was around the time he had a show called the Naked Chef…

    1. Hmmm…you’re right! I am indeed on a bit of a healthy roll right now. But I’ve got some cookies today to help make up for it! 🙂 Oh man, you’ve GOT to go get an immersion blender. I use mine all the time to make creamy soups. I mean this soup is super smooth…all thanks to the immersion blender! I’m thinking chorizo would be a great addition here…in more ways than one! Haha.

  10. Asparagus Gruyere Tart? That does sounds sophisticated, David! My first fancy dishes were pancakes and soup (from the package). Does it count? Well, I was 5 year old or so. Does it count now? Indeed, I wasn’t making anything fancy for many years (like until I was 25 or so). But when I was a kid, I would make a lot of cookies, especially cheese ones. I didn’t know lavender those years. Besides, it was hard to find any fancy ingredients up to almost the mid of the 90th in Russia. Like we didn’t have to choose between Gruyere or cheddar. We just had one or two kinds of cheese produced in Russia. And no lavender, as I said. This asparagus soup is delicious. I almost never add cream in my soups (and I also use water as the base). But I always add a little of butter. As they say, we need some fats during the cold seasons:)

    1. Hey! If you were making pancakes at 5 years old, then that totally counts as fancy, Ben! Heck, I’d be happy if someone wanted to make me pancakes today. Maybe in another 3.5 years Robbie will do that for me. Haha! No lavender in Russia? Like none at all? Now I know why you moved! Good tip about the bit of butter in soup. I sometimes do use cream, but I try to be aware of how much I’m using. Happy Thursday, my friend!

  11. My first fancy recipe would have to be my Mom’s meatloaf, and that was no easy feat. I made it for husband on our honeymoon and it was delish, he’s still alive 20 years later so I must have done something right. 🙂 BTW-this asparagus soup is divine!!

    1. Mmmm…meatloaf! Meatloaf totally gets a bad rap, but I think that’s because there are so many bad meatloafs out there. A good meatloaf is something to be proud of for sure! Thanks, Tonya! 🙂

  12. This is a new one- I don’t think I’ve ever had asparagus IN a soup, let alone a soup based primarily off it! This looks delicious!

    My first ‘fancy’ recipe made a mess in my oven- It was a mix of cinnamon roll cake meets breakfast casserole and while delicious…it errupted!

    1. Yes! Asparagus can indeed become a soup..and it’s pretty darned tasty. (Not to mention pretty darned healthy, too!) So I really wish you had pics of that cinnamon roll lava volcano…haha!

  13. I can’t remember the first fancy dish I mastered, I think the very first recipe I learned was how to make pancakes which makes sense as breakfast is my favourite meal of the day 🙂 Nowadays I like to serve beef wellington on special occasions followed by lemon tart. It is so nice to see asparagus back, it is such a beautiful spring ingredient. I like the idea of skinny asparagus soup followed by a nice dessert 😉

    1. You know, pancakes is a totally legit recipe to master! I’ve had some bad pancakes (some of which I made…) in my day, so a good pancake recipe is worth it’s weight! And I totally agree with you that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I legitimately wake up excited to eat breakfast! Thanks, Miriam! 🙂

  14. With asparagus in season, I need to try this next week. I’ll follow your directions the first time. With a few substitutes, this could easily become a vegan soup. Vegetable stock subbed for chicken stock is easy. I wonder how the soup would taste if cashew cream was substituted for sour cream. You’d lose that soured taste unless you added a little lemon juice to the cashew cream. A store bought vegan sour cream might work too.

    1. Yes! This one is perfect for these early Spring days when asparagus is on sale at the grocery store. And you’re right, you could turn this one into a vegan recipe pretty easily. Thanks, Jonathan!

    1. Thanks so much, Karen! I do love a bit of sour cream in soup…the flavor is awesome! And this soup comes together quite easily. Perfect for these early Spring days when asparagus is so plentiful. Thanks, my Florida friend!

  15. The first fancy recipe I learnt to make was Banana Flambe, if that counts. Haha. This asparagud soup does look great and fairly easy to make. Deserves an attempt, once I get over my uncertainty with asparagus. I’ve never made it or worked with it before, would never know if I’m doing it right. Any tips?

    Funmi x
    http://www.funmialabi.co.uk

    1. Oh my gosh…banana flambe totally counts as fancy, Funmi! That’s a mighty impressive recipe to make and serve! 🙂 So asparagus is really not hard to make at all. We often just roast it on a sheet pan tossed in a bit of olive oil until the tips start to turn crispy…makes a great side dish! As far as this soup goes, you really can’t go wrong here. Just cook the asparagus until soft and then use an immersion blender to puree the soup right there in the pot. It’s easy and delicious! 🙂

  16. Zuccotto. That was the first fancy thing I made. Every so often, I’ll make one at Christmas. It’s still pretty fancy. I have a special place in my cooking repertoire for Martha’s recipes, and the first Zuccotto I made was one of hers. She and her team are excellent recipe writers; that was especially so in the pre-prison years. I learned tons. Soups, though, I learned from Mollie Katzen, and I’ve been a fan of asparagus soup (and immersion blenders) ever since The Moosewood Cookbook came out.

    1. Zuccotto is totally a fancy recipe, and I wouldn’t mind one bit if someone wanted to show up at Christmas with that one! So we might have different opinions about Martha, but we do share a love for tasty food, Jeff! I’m not familiar with Mollie Katzen, so I’ll have to go do some googling now as I do love a good soup!

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