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Home » Soups and Stews » Asparagus and Pea Soup with Parmesan Cheese

Asparagus and Pea Soup with Parmesan Cheese

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This asparagus and pea soup is the perfect way to use fresh Spring asparagus. This delicate soup has an almost velvety texture and a delicious flavor of asparagus and peas.  Shards of Parmesan, asparagus tips, and lime garnish the top of the soup.

A bowl of asparagus pea soup with lime wedges.

I bought a package of fresh asparagus from Costco, put it in the refrigerator and promptly forgot about it.  By the time it was discovered it looked a little sad, not good enough to serve for dinner but too good to trash so I made this asparagus-pea soup with parmesan cheese. 

I adapted a recipe of asparagus-pea soup with parmesan from my cookbook, The Soup Bible as well as suggestions from Daniel Humm, chef of New York’s Eleven Madison Park that is listed in my Flavor Bible.   

According to Daniel Humm, asparagus soup needs a hefty dose of acid and he recommends lime juice rather than lemon juice.  He also recommends adding cayenne pepper, which was a surprise, but it was really delicious.   

Processing asparagus pea soup in a blender.

How to Make Asparagus Pea Soup

First Make the Asparagus Broth:

  1. Wash the asparagus under cold water and cut off the tough, woody ends, (this is the part of the asparagus that is usually tossed in the garbage.)
  2. Cut of enough of the green tips and reserve to garnish each serving of soup and reserve them until needed, (about 8 tips.)
  3. Cut the remaining edible asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  4. Put the tough, woody ends in the bowl of a food processor and chop, then transfer to a large saucepan and add the chopped celery, onion salt and chicken broth to the saucepan. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the heat and allow to cool, then strain the stock over a bowl, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon to get as much flavor out of the cooked vegetables. Discard the strained vegetables. There should be about 5 cups of asparagus broth.

Make the Soup:

  • Melt the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven and add the shallot and garlic, cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the reserved cut asparagus spears to a pot (except for the garnishing tips.) Add the peas, wine, lime zest, thyme, the asparagus/vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the cooled soup, in batches, to a food processor, blender or use a stick blender and puree.
  • Return the processed soup to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the cayenne pepper. Stir in the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil once the cream has been added. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.
Adding cream to asparagus pea soup.

For the Asparagus Tip Garnishment:

  1. Bring a small pan of water to boil and cook the reserved asparagus tips for 1-2 minutes, remove and plunge them into a dish of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain them on paper towels to be used as a garnishment on the individual soup servings.
  2. To serve, ladle the soup into eight shallow soup bowls, garnish with the asparagus tips, add shavings of parmesan cheese. Pass a dish with the lime quarters for each guest to squeeze on top of their soup.
A bowl of asparagus pea soup with parmesan cheese.

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A bowl of asparagus pea soup with parmesan cheese.

Asparagus-Pea Soup with Parmesan Cheese

This bright green soup is made by simmering the asparagus and vegetables into a rich stock. Adding white wine, lime juice and cayenne pepper and a little cream make this an elegant and flavorful first course.
4.87 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 309kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of fresh asparagus
  • 2 celery stalks 8-inches each, rough chopped
  • 1 large white or yellow onion rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cans 14.5 ounces each, chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1-12 ounce package frozen peas thawed
  • grated zest from one lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 limes juiced
  • 1/2 cup shavings of parmesan cheese
  • 2 limes quartered

Instructions

Prepare the Asparagus:

  • Wash the asparagus under cold water and cut off the tough, woody ends. (this is the part of the asparagus that is normally discarded.)
  • Cut off enough of the tips to reserve for garnishment. Then cut the remaining green tender spears into 1-inch pieces and reserve.

Make the Broth:

  • Add the tough, woody ends of the asparagus to the bowl of a food processor (use the chopping blade). Pulse several times to chop the asparagus. Transfer the to a large saucepan, and add the chopped celery, onion, salt, and chicken broth.
  • Bring the chopped vegetables to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then strain the stock over a bowl, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon to get as much flavor as possible from the cooked vegetables.
  • Discard the strained vegetables. You should have about 5 cups of stock.

Make the Soup:

  • Melt the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven and add the shallot and garlic, cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the reserved cut asparagus spears to a pot. Add the peas, wine, lime zest, thyme, the asparagus/vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the cooled soup, in batches, to a food processor, blender or use a stick blender and puree.
  • Return the processed soup to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the cayenne pepper and the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil once the cream has been added.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.

For the Soup Garnishment:

  • Bring a small pan of water to boil and cook the reserved asparagus tips for 1-2 minutes, remove and plunge them into a dish of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain them on paper towels to be used as a garnishment on the individual soup dishes.
  • To serve, ladle the soup into eight shallow soup bowls, garnish with the asparagus tips and shavings of parmesan cheese. Pass a dish with the lime quarters for each guest to squeeze on top of their soup.

Notes

The tough woody part of the asparagus is usually discarded, however, there is a lot of flavor in them and we are using them to made a flavor-packed broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 590mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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Recipe Rating




Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

Thursday 28th of May 2015

It's quite chilly here tonight and this would be such a treat for dinner with a crusty roll. It's a beautiful soup.

Pat

Thursday 28th of May 2015

Thanks, Maureen...

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