Asparagus Soup: What to do with Asparagus Ends

Have you ever wondered what to do with asparagus ends? Wonder no more! Here’s how to turn those woody ends of asparagus into creamy, flavorful, asparagus ends soup.

Asparagus Ends Soup

WHAT TO DO WITH ASPARAGUS ENDS

This asparagus soup recipe was originally posted in May of 2011. We’ve updated the post with new photos, a video, and some additional tips. Here’s a peek at the original!

healthy-soup-recipe

Every time I used to cook with asparagus, I would fret over those woody asparagus ends that I’ve always been taught are good for nothing but the compost pile.

While I can add them to my freezer bag of vegetable scraps to make stock, I felt like there had to be something more I could do with them to let the bright taste of asparagus still be featured.

That’s how I came up with this asparagus soup recipe using leftover asparagus ends.

ASPARAGUS ENDS SOUP SUPPLIES

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HOW TO TRIM ASPARAGUS

Trimmed Asparagus

Trimming asparagus is actually quite simple.

  • Hold an asparagus stalk with one hand gripping the woody end, and one hand gripping between the middle and the other end.
  • Gently bend the asparagus until it snaps.
  • You can continue trimming the rest of the asparagus this way, or use a knife to cut them all at once to about the same size as the first one you snapped.
  • Save the woody asparagus ends in the freezer for making soup.

HOW TO MAKE ASPARAGUS ENDS SOUP

Woody Asparagus Ends

The reason asparagus ends are thought to be inedible, is that they are extremely tough and fibrous, like a freshly broken tree branch. You can gnaw on them, but you’re certainly not going to eat them.

But the asparagus ends still have great flavor. I haven’t been able to find any research on this, but I’m guessing they have nutritients as well. So it’s time to stop throwing them away!

BOIL THE ASPARAGUS ENDS

Woody Asparagus Ends in a Pot

  • Whether you’re using freshly trimmed asparagus ends, or frozen ones you’ve been saving for months, the first step is boiling them. You can do this in a large pot on the stove, or in a pressure cooker.
  • Add water to about 1 inch above the level of the asparagus ends (they will float so just push them down to check the level).
  • Simmer on the stove for 40 minutes, or cook in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes.

BLEND THE ASPARAGUS ENDS

Woody Asparagus Ends Simmered

  • Your asparagus should be pretty soft now. Use an Immersion Blender to puree the asparagus ends as much as you possibly can.
  • Then pour the puree through a mesh strainer with a big bowl or pot underneath to catch the stock.
  • Use a spatula to stir and press the fibrous pulp until all the liquid has been squeezed out.

Strained Asparagus End Pulp

 

Once passed through a strainer, the inedible pulp discarded into the compost heap, a beautiful light and fresh asparagus stock is left behind.  The asparagus flavor is strong, but it’s now a clean palette, ready to accept new flavors and textures.

MAKE YOUR ASPARAGUS SOUP CREAMY

  • Start another pot, this time with a little avocado or coconut oil, some cloves of garlic and chopped potatoes and onions.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until they’re turning golden brown, gathering flavor.
  • Add the asparagus broth and turned on the heat again.

Asparagus End Soup

  • Simmer 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are soft enough to blend.
  • Use your immersion blender again to puree the soup until completely smooth and creamy.
  • Add fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper to enhance the flavor of the asparagus.
  • OPTIONAL – stir in some milk or cream for additional creaminess.

 

Asparagus End Soup

ASPARAGUS ENDS SOUP TOPPINGS

At this point, you soup is ready to eat. It would be a wonderful light soup for a soup course or side dish. And it’s perfect for Easter brunch!

If you want to serve the soup as a main dish, I suggest making it a bit more filling.

Asparagus Ends Soup

We like to add some roasted asparagus, pan crisped prosciutto, a sprinkling of fresh parmesan, and a bit of lemon zest.

In the comments below, someone added leftover rotisserie chicken, cooked asparagus, garlic and fresh mushrooms. Another reader substituted sweet potatoes for the red potatoes.

Asparagus Ends Soup

You can keep the soup dairy free and vegan, and just add in your favorite chopped vegetables, or some leftover beans or quinoa. I bet chickpeas would be great!

PIN TO SAVE ASPARAGUS ENDS SOUP FOR LATER:

Asparagus Ends Soup

5 from 3 votes
Asparagus Ends Soup
Creamy Asparagus Ends Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 mins
 

Have you ever wondered what to do with asparagus ends? Wonder no more! Here's how to turn those woody ends of asparagus into creamy, flavorful, asparagus ends soup. Feel free to mix your favorite leftover meat or veggies into the soup. You can also simply omit the optional milk, cheese, and prosciutto to make this dairy free and vegan.

Course: Soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 200 kcal
Author: Diana Johnson
Ingredients
  • 40-60 asparagus ends
  • 1 TBS avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 medium red potatoes chopped
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • salt and pepper
Optional Toppings
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan optional
  • 2 oz prosciutto sliced and fried (optional)
  • 12-18 roasted asparagus spears optional
  • lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Place the asparagus ends in a large pot and fill with water to cover one inch above the asparagus. 

  2. Bring to a boil and simmer 30-40 minutes until asparagus is very soft (it will still be quite fibrous though).

  3. Blend the asparagus and liquid it boiled in using an immersion blender (In a regular blender, you must blend in very small batches as hot liquids expand. Or let it cool first). 

  4. Strain the pulp out, reserving the liquid.

  5. Heat the oil in the large pot and add the onion and potatoes. Heat on medium high, stirring for 10 minutes until there are some good golden brown marks on the vegetables.

  6. Add the reserved asparagus stock and simmer on medium low for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are very soft. Blend well.
  7. Add juice of the 1/2 lemon, cream and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. (Optional: garnish the bowls of soup with grated parmesan, fried prosciutto, roasted asparagus spears and/or zest of the 1/2 lemon)
Recipe Notes

Nutritional Values are an estimate only, and are for the soup (with cream), not including the toppings.

Approximate cost/serving: Really I don't consider the cost of the asparagus ends as a part of this recipe since it's something that would be thrown away.  With the other necessary ingredients it was just $1.80!  The optional garnishes will of course increase that cost but on its own the soup was just  around 45 cents per serving (yield depending on how many ends you had).

Vegetarian/Gluten Free: The soup is gluten free and without the prosciutto it's meat free.  You can omit the cream to make it vegan and add an additional potato to thicken it up if you'd like.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Asparagus Ends Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 200 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 29mg 1%
Potassium 859mg 25%
Total Carbohydrates 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 5g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 28.6%
Vitamin C 26.2%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 23.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 


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