Creamy Asparagus Soup With Wild Mackerel
This classic French asparagus soup recipe is simple and quick to make and a really tasty way to enjoy asparagus. It’s just a simple puree of asparagus and broth with a bit of heavy cream to finish it off. The result is a delicious and creamy asparagus soup that tastes like spring. I went a step further by adding extra greens to the soup and topping mine with Mackerel which adds extra flavour and protein but also a good dose of omega-3s. It’s made with very simple ingredients loaded with greens, and is ready in under 25 minutes! Can’t beat that for a spring soup that combines rich and tasty fish with fresh sweet asparagus. You can also serve it hot or even chilled and there are plenty of variations and flavours you could add to it to which I share below.
Why you will love this Asparagus Soup:
- It shows off the best of seasonal produce.
- Only very basic seasoning of salt and pepper and any of your favorite herbs is required to make this soup delicious and celebrate asparagus at its freshest.
- This soup is silky smooth but can easily be made thicker or thinner according to taste fro a more velvet texture or for a thicker creamy soup.
- This soup can easily be made vegan without the mackerel and by using olive oil alone and vegetable broth
- It’s not only delicious but also elegant so perfect served as an impressive starter served hot or chilled
- It’s ready in half an hour so perfect as a quick lunch too with a sandwich!
Asparagus soup makes a nice light lunch when paired with crusty bread or a salad or a delicious first course for an elegant dinner. What makes it a complete meal is adding the Mackerel. I partnered up with Gold Seal Canada and their Wild Mackerel in Olive Oil and thought it was the perfect addition to the soup. Mackerel is a small saltwater fish in the same family as tuna. It is naturally rich in Omega-3s, and a good source of protein. Gold Seal’s mackerel is responsibly caught in the North Atlantic Ocean and can be consumed safely in unlimited amounts. It’s an excellent source of protein with 15g per can. The mackerel turns this dish into proper comfort food.
Delicious Variations and Garnish Ideas for this Cream of Asparagus Soup
- Want to make this soup THICKER - easy just reduce the amount of broth or you could also add in approx 250 grams of POTATOES (approximately 2 Yukon gold potatoes peeled and chopped) If you add potatoes you will have to add the asparagus and spinach to soup after - allowing the potatoes to cook in the broth along wth the shallots, garlic and leeks until softened then add the asparagus and spinach and cook as directed in the recipe. You may also have to use a little extra stock or broth according to the velvety texture you are looking for.
- Buttery CROUTONS are so good! You get a nice textural component with the creamy soup.
- A swirl of CREAM, yogurt, creme fraiche, sour cream or coconut yogurt adds a creaminess, but is totally optional.
- Drizzle of OLIVE OIL adds richness.
- VARIATIONS: Love to make this into a LEMON PARMESAN asparagus soup and to do that I add the zest of one lemon while I’m sautéing the veggies, and squeeze in 2 tablespoons or more according to taste of fresh lemon juice. After I puree the soup and return it to heat, I stir in ½ cup fo Finely grated parmesan cheese and then the cream if I’m still using. The lemon really brightens up the soup.
- CAN I USE FROZEN SPINACH INSTEAD? Absolutely! You can thaw it out, drain, squeeze out excess liquid and stir into the soup. If you add it frozen it will add quite a bit of moisture to the soup so you may need to reduce the amount of broth you add to it.
- Make it MEATLESS by omitting the mackerel or add extra if you prefer.
How to make asparagus soup:
This soup is quite simple and loaded with fresh ingredients and full of flavor!
- Prep your asparagus (approx 2¼ pounds asparagus) : Wash and trim off the last inch off each asparagus spear (the woody ends). Trim or slice the rest into ½-1 inch pieces. All you need to do is to get rid of the woody ends which are very stringy and chewy. To get rid of the woody ends simply hold asparagus spear at each end and bend it lightly until it snaps. Repeat and snap the remaining spears.You’ll be left with the longer piece with lovely tip at the end and the woody end which you can either compost or add to other veggies when making homemade stock.
- Either blanch half of the tops separately or sauté them until bright green and tender (approx 2 min) they make a brilliant garnish for each serving. This step is optional.
- Sauté the leeks and the shallots until tender and fragrant. Add asparagus, garlic and spinach and continue to cook a few more minutes. Stir in the broth and let cook until asparagus is softened. Stalks of asparagus can vary in thickness. Cook until they’re tender.
- Puree: Using an blender or immersion stick blender puree the soup until it is completely smooth. Stir in the cream. Ladle out into bowls and top with Mackerel if using and garnish with chopped chives or micro greens. A squeeze of lemon juice would be nice too!
Storing & Freezing
This lovely soup will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure you cool your soup completely before freezing.
If you like this recipe you will love these:
- 2¼ lbs of asparagus, stalks chopped into 1-inch pieces, woody ends discarded, tips reserved (2 bunches)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 leek, white and light green parts only cleaned and sliced (or 1 large onion peeled and sliced)
- 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- ½-1 teaspoon of dried or fresh thyme (optional)
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 3-4 cups of chicken broth or vegetable stock/broth* plus more if needed
- ½ cup of heavy cream (optional)
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh herbs for serving (like chopped parsley, chives, thyme etc)
- 2 115g cans of Gold Seal Wild Mackerel Skinless Boneless in Olive Oil
- Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add half the asparagus tips and cook for a few mins to soften. Remove onto plate with slotted spoon and set aside. (This is optional if you want to reserve the tips for garnishing)
- Add the shallots, and leeks and sauté for 3-5 min or until softened.
- Add the asparagus stalks, garlic and spinach and season with salt and pepper (plus a pinch of your favourite dried or fresh herb if you like) and cook for another 3-5 min until softened but still bright.
- Pour over the stock, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered 8-10 min or until stalks are tender.
- Carefully ladle soup into a blender in batches if needed and blend until very smooth (you can also use an immersion blender). Return soup to pot
- Stir in the cream.
- Ladle soup into bowl and add asparagus tips and Mackerel to each bowl. Serve with crusty bread. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 2-3 days.
- I like my soup on the brothier side. For a thicker soup consistency though just simply reduce broth/stock amount by 1 cup or more depending on how thick you want it. You could also add ½-1 cup of peeled and chopped potatoes (approx 2 Yukon gold potatoes) in to cook with the broth then the asparagus for a richer and thicker consisntency in this soup. You may have to cook or simmer soup longer until potatoes are tender before adding the asparagus and spinach.
- Feel free to substitute cream with dairy-free one if needed (coconut cream, cashew cream etc)
- Leeks can easily be substituted with a small bunch of green onions.
- If you would like to add extra seasoning to the soup I strongly recommend adding fresh or dried thyme
- I garnishes mine with micro greens but feel free to use chopped chives, parsley, dill or any other herb and this soups is also delicious with a squeeze of lemon juice before serving too
- It is common to serve this soup with with a dollop of butter or herbed butter which gets swirled into the soup for extra flavour and richness - that is optional