Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Asparagus Soup with Basil and Tarragon

Nothing says spring is coming like asparagus.  And although I love asparagus in all its forms, this is probably one of my favorite asparagus recipes.  I think it is a perfect start to any Valentine's Day menu, which is why I am offering it today.

There is, amazingly, no cream in this soup, so its moderately healthy.  The large amount of parsley in the soup gives a very nice peppery bite and the basil and tarragon give a lovely licorice hint to the soup.

An immersion blender is the easiest way to puree this soup, but you also can use a blender.  If using a blender, only puree one or two cups at a time and be careful, hot soup in a blender tends to explode like Mt. Pinatubo.

Add the asparagus tips only 15 minutes before serving the soup so they don't become mushy.  Garnish with sour cream.  I like to mix a little sour cream with some heavy cream, and using a small spoon, make 8 small dots of this mixture in the soup, then drag a toothpick through the dots to make a ring of hearts!   Awwwww..so cute!

Asparagus Soup with Basil and Tarragon
serves 4-8

1/2 stick butter
1 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 1/2 lbs asparagus, woody ends removed,cut into 1-inch lengths (tips reserved)
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup; without stems)
1 medium sized carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch chunks
8-12 basil leaves
2 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
sour cream

Melt butter, add onions and garlic and saute over medium heat for 25 minutes until soft.   Add stock, asparagus (do not add asparagus tips yet), parsley, carrots.  Cover and cook until vegetables are very tender (about 30 minutes).  Add basil, and tarragon.  Blend soup with immersion blender until smooth.  Add asparagus tips and cook 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne.  Serve hot with sour cream garnish.


  1. Hi Dad,
    I'm just making this soup and thought you should probably add a measurement for the pepper, I know what you mean though :)

    And it would help to describe the size/type of pot I need to use to cook, though it's not hard to figure it out.

    I ran out of carrots so I'm using apples instead.. hopefully it's good!

  2. This looks wonderful! I can't wait to make it! Nettie