Lemony Asparagus Soup

Though Shelley Lindgren hasn't cooked professionally—her 20 years of restaurant experience have been front-of-the-house—she has picked up several recipes from hanging out in the kitchens of places where she's worked. This silky, citrus-spiked soup, which can be served warm or chilled, is adapted from a dish from Acquerello, an elegant San Francisco restaurant where Shelley learned the basics of Italian cooking and wine. More Asparagus Recipes

Lemony Asparagus Soup
Photo: © John Kernick
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 3 pounds asparagus, twelve 3-inch tips reserved, the rest cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 small white onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • Two 1-inch wide strips of lemon zest, plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest for garnish

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil all of the asparagus until bright green and barely tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice water to cool, then drain again. Cut the 12 asparagus tips in half lengthwise and set aside.

  2. Wipe out the saucepan. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the sliced onion to the saucepan and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and lemon zest strips, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus pieces and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Discard the lemon zest strips.

  3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the saucepan and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt and white pepper and reheat if necessary. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the asparagus tips and grated lemon zest. Serve hot or chilled.

Make Ahead

The asparagus soup can be refrigerated overnight; refrigerate the asparagus tips separately.

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