Asparagus is my favorite vegetable. I often buy oodles of asparagus in the spring when thin stalks of asparagus first appear in my farmer’s market or supermarket. My family can only eat so much steamed or roasted asparagus (my favorite preparation). Before the precious asparagus season ends, I always end up with a lot of extra asparagus. Often, I turn it into soup.
Hot or cold, cream of asparagus soup made from fresh asparagus is resoundingly delicious, a late spring delight. (You can also make it out of frozen asparagus, but the delicate asparagus flavor is never as crisp.)
The traditional preparation of cream of asparagus soup relies on heavy cream for flavor and body. Instead of heavy cream, coconut milk makes this asparagus soup creamy. To prevent the coconut flavor from overwhelming the asparagus, I add garlic granules and cashew cream, plus a little rice vinegar for bite. If you don’t tell your guests, they won’t notice it’s dairy-free.
Dairy-Free Cream of Asparagus Soup
Coconut milk makes this dairy-free asparagus soup creamy.
- 2 pounds fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed of white ends
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 teaspoon salt (I use pink Himalayan salt)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (I use pink peppercorns, which have a mild flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 tablespoon cashew cream (see NOTE)
- 1 can coconut milk (no additives)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
In a medium saucepan large enough to hold the asparagus, bring the broth or water to a boil.
Add the asparagus and salt.
Cover, turn the heat down, and simmer for 15 minutes. The asparagus will turn bright green at first, then a darker green as it cooks further.
Using a pair of kitchen scissors and tongs, lift the asparagus out of the water, and clip off the tips to use as garnish and add texture to the soup. Set aside.
Use the scissors to cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces in the saucepan.
Pour the broth and asparagus into a blender, and blend until smooth.
Return the soup to the saucepan.
Over low heat, stir in the remaining ingredients.
Adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
Stir in the reserved asparagus tips, setting aside a few for garnish.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with asparagus tips or chopped chives.
1) This soup may be served hot or cold. 2) Cashew cream is simple to make. Soak 1/2 cup of raw cashews in 2 cups of filtered water overnight. Discard the soaking water, and blend the cashews with 1/4 cup filtered water, 3/4 teaspoon olive oil, and a tiny pinch of pink Himalayan salt to bring out the cashew flavor. Keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week.
Bring 2 cups of chicken broth or water to a simmer in a saucepan large enough to hold the asparagus spears.
Add the trimmed asparagus, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
The cooked asparagus will lose its bright green color, but it will be soft enough for soup.
Cut the asparagus with scissors into 2 inch pieces, and put broth and asparagus into a blender.
Save the asparagus tips for garnish and to add texture to the finished soup.
Return the blended asparagus and chicken broth to the saucepan.
Stir in the coconut milk, adjust the seasonings, pour into bowls and serve garnished with asparagus tips.