Asparagus Soup

Asparagus 2How profligate, I hear you cry. Taking something which is  delicate, delicious and downright dear, and turning it into soup? Nay, best beloveds, nay. Imparting culinary knowledge to my bambini has always been a source of pleasure, never more so than when it related to today's star veg. Having been asked how far down one should cut an asparagus stalk, I delighted in demonstrating the break test.

Buying his wand at Ollivander's in Diagon Alley, Harry Potter was told that the wand chooses the owner. Likewise the asparagus stalk knows how long it should be. Simply hold one in both hands and bend. It will break with a satisfying snap. You have your tender spear of precisely the right length. But what do you do with the coarser, woody part?

No! Please tell me that isn't so. And if you did it recently, go and raid your veg bin now. Because you have just chucked away the ingredient for a rather lovely soup. You may well be buying only one pack of asparagus at a time. Mattereth not, as you can keep the stalks in the fridge for a while. I had three packs in total. At this time of year the British stuff is expensive, and sold in quite small quantities, yielding about 25 - 30 stalk ends. Enough for a good potful. I've never measured anything for this soup. If you're using cream (which I don't), be careful not to drown it. The flavour is delicate.


About 25 asparagus stalk ends; 1 medium onion, chopped; 1 stalk of celery (optional) peeled and finely chopped; 1 medium potato, very finely diced; about 600 - 700 ml chicken stock; double cream (optional); butter; olive oil; s & p.


Cut the asparagus bits into 1cm pieces. Gently sweat the onion and celery in a mixture of butter and oil. After a few minutes add the potato and cook until the veg are soft. Add the asparagus pieces and fry for a further 2 - 3 minutes. Make sure the veg don't stick. Season a little at this stage.

Pour in the stock and simmer until the asparagus bits are tender. Allow to cool slightly then liquidise. I find the veg are a bit too tough for a hand blender and go the full Magimix here. Then push the mixture through a fine sieve and return the soup to a (clean) pan. Check the seasoning. If you're using cream, warm the soup up and add at this stage, checking your seasoning once again.

When serving feel inflated pride at the fact that many eejits will have thrown the ingredients away.


  1. janet Hood on 10th May 2024 at 5:01 pm

    What a super recipe thanks – I usually just add these bits to a veg stock. Tom, you are a genius!

    • Tom Johnston on 10th May 2024 at 6:33 pm

      It makes a very thin soup. I sometimes wonder if I should do a second cook with the potato after the first blitz. You’re not going to keep a vibrant green colour, but it does taste really nice.

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