Cream of Asparagus Soup

I found this recipe in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, a book originally published in 1896. Fannie Farmer’s name is still well-known today.

Stock, water enriched by the food cooked in it, is an important ingredient in numerous soups. Homemade stock brings full-bodied flavor to recipes. The recipe for the chicken stock used in this recipe is found here.

To make this soup, finely chop enough onion to give 2 tablespoons and set aside.

I used a pound of fresh asparagus, but frozen asparagus is also good. If using fresh, wash the vegetable and then chop off the coarse ends (about two inches from the end of the spear) and discard.

Boil 3 cups of water. Chop each asparagus spear a second time and drop the vegetables into boiling water. I cooked my asparagus for 4 minutes—about 1 minute too long as a few spears were limp. Next time I will boil them for 3 minutes.

Put a colander into a medium bowl and drain the asparagus. Reserve one cup of this water. The green liquid is filled with nutrients and flavor.

Cut off the asparagus tops. Chop them and set aside.

Pour the reserved water and 1 ½ cups of chicken stock or chicken broth into a large saucepan. (I used chicken stock.) Add 2 tablespoons of chopped onion to the liquid. Cook over a high heat until it begins to boil. Add the asparagus (without the reserved tops) and lower the heat to simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Puree the asparagus with the broth in a blender or food processor. I used a blender and had to divide it into two batches to puree.

Run the pureed mixture through a colander one more time for a creamier soup. After rinsing the used saucepan, pour the soup inside. Add 1 cup of milk or heavy cream. (I used milk. Use cream if you prefer thicker soup.)

Salt and pepper to taste. A half teaspoon of salt wasn’t enough so I added more. A teaspoon of salt was about right for me, but this is purely a personal preference.

Heat the soup over a medium heat until hot.

Garnish the creamy soup with the reserved chopped asparagus tops. I thought it tasted delicious and will make it again.

This recipe makes 5 one-cup servings.

-Sandra Merville Hart


Revised by Cunningham, Marion and Laber, Jeri. The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, Alfred A Knopf Inc., 1983.