Asparagus and Herb Soup

This soup has a lot of flavor from herbs with some heat from the pepper. The sour cream adds balance.
From The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, 1985, Workman Publishing, NY.
Prep Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr
Course: 45 - 60 Minutes to Table, Soups
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups onions coarsely chopped, approximately 2 large onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 quarts low sodium chicken stock preheated in microwave to save time
  • 3 pounds asparagus woody ends trimmed, tips reserved, stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley stems removed
  • 2 medium carrots diced very small
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 large tomato seeded and cut into small dice


  • In 6-quart stock pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and garlic; cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil.
  • Add asparagus pieces (reserving tips), parsley, carrots, basil, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Return to boil then reduce heat to simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove soup from heat. Puree using an immersion blender or, in batches, using either a blender or food processor. Strain soup through a medium-size sieve to remove woody fibers.
  • Return strained soup to pot, add asparagus tips, and simmer over medium heat until the tips are tender, about 7 minutes.
  • Ladle into soup bowls add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with diced tomato.


Use a food processor to save time chopping onions, garlic, and carrots.