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Asparagus Pea Soup

Asparagus Pea Soup

Notes

At Au Bon Pain, we like to keep a little definition to the ingredients so that the soup isn’t complete smooth.

If you don’t have an immersion blender you can puree the soup in batches in a blender, but use caution: hot ingredients expand when they’re blended (because of the steam).

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Cup onion, medium dice
  • ½ Cup celery, medium dice
  • 2 bunches asparagus, cooked and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Cup petite green peas, frozen
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 Cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions

In a heavy bottomed soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and celery until they begin to sweat and soften, approximately 5—7 minutes.

Add the chopped asparagus (reserve the tops), peas, and garlic; cook about 1 minute more.

Add the vegetable stock and bring it to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove the soup from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients to your preferred consistency. Return the soup to low heat and add the heavy cream, chives, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring the soup to a low simmer for five minutes before serving with the reserved asparagus tops.

Nutritional Facts

Servings6

Calories Per Serving284

Folate equivalent (total)68µg17%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg12.5%


Asparagus Pea Soup

Packed with vegetables, this simple vegan asparagus pea soup turns out the most magical shade of green practically shouting, Hello, Spring!

I overheard someone say she’d already packed up and stashed away all her winter gear.

Surprisingly, that was over a month ago!

At the time I couldn’t decide whether she was crazy optimistic or just plain crazy, but maybe she was right.

Throwing a little positivity in the air is no guarantee magic will happen, but also it can’t hurt.

Don’t you have to manifest something for it to happen?

So that’s kind of how I would sum up this asparagus pea soup.

Yes, it uses spring ingredients, but the soup served hot to keep you warm in these last lingering chilly days.

It acknowledges the current season, but looks to warmer days ahead.

This soup calls out to blossoming flowers and all the other delightful signs of what’s next.

I like to think of it as the best of both seasons.


  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 pound​ asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 pound peas (fresh and shucked)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth, hot)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

In a large saucepan sauté onion in butter or oil until tender but not caramelized.

Add asparagus (reserving the tips for garnish) and peas. Add hot broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Puree in a blender (in batches, if necessary), leaving it somewhat chunky.

Season to taste and warm, if necessary, but no further cooking is necessary. Serve garnished with a crouton, dollop of sour cream and a few asparagus spears.

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.


  • 1 large potato, quartered, or more to taste
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock, or more to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1 bunch pea shoots
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pineapple mint, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon creme fraiche
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potato simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Return to the pot and pour in chicken stock. Add spinach and pea shoots.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add asparagus, onion, celery, mint, and sage. Cook and stir until asparagus is tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir asparagus mixture into the chicken stock in the pot. Simmer soup over medium-low heat until flavors combine, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour soup into a food processor process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Pour back into the pot. Stir in creme fraiche. Season with salt and pepper.


Variations & Modifications

  • If asparagus isn’t in season, you can swap out broccoli, broccoli rabe, or baby broccoli.
  • If you eat dairy, you can swap the coconut milk for dairy cream. You’ll lose the lightly coconut flavor, but it will still be delicious.
  • Use fresh lemon, not bottled. There is no comparison when it comes to flavor!
  • If you have access to fresh peas, this soup is a lovely way to use them. There’s no need to adapt the recipe, just add the fresh, raw peas when you would normally add frozen peas and they will work great.
  • If you don’t have fresh basil, swap it for 1 tbsp of pesto.
  • I don’t recommend omitting the fresh mint, as it adds such a bright, delicate flavor!

How to Make Asparagus Pea Soup

First Make the Asparagus Broth:

  1. Wash the asparagus under cold water and cut off the tough, woody ends, (this is the part of the asparagus that is usually tossed in the garbage.)
  2. Cut of enough of the green tips and reserve to garnish each serving of soup and reserve them until needed, (about 8 tips.)
  3. Cut the remaining edible asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  4. Put the tough, woody ends in the bowl of a food processor and chop, then transfer to a large saucepan and add the chopped celery, onion salt and chicken broth to the saucepan. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the heat and allow to cool, then strain the stock over a bowl, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon to get as much flavor out of the cooked vegetables. Discard the strained vegetables. There should be about 5 cups of asparagus broth.

Make the Soup:

  • Melt the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven and add the shallot and garlic, cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add the reserved cut asparagus spears to a pot (except for the garnishing tips.) Add the peas, wine, lime zest, thyme, the asparagus/vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Add the cooled soup, in batches, to a food processor, blender or use a stick blender and puree.
  • Return the processed soup to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the cayenne pepper. Stir in the cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Do not allow the soup to boil once the cream has been added. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.

For the Asparagus Tip Garnishment:

  1. Bring a small pan of water to boil and cook the reserved asparagus tips for 1-2 minutes, remove and plunge them into a dish of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain them on paper towels to be used as a garnishment on the individual soup servings.
  2. To serve, ladle the soup into eight shallow soup bowls, garnish with the asparagus tips, add shavings of parmesan cheese. Pass a dish with the lime quarters for each guest to squeeze on top of their soup.

Chilled Asparagus and Pea Soup

This chilled spring pea and asparagus soup is topped with a swirl of crème fraiche for a sophisticated spring and summer evening. Serve with a bright, refreshing glass of Grillo from Sicilia DOC.

Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • 12 ounces (1 large bundle) asparagus, trimmed
  • One 10 oz. bag of frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 tablespoons crème Fresh

In a large saucepan, bring one quart of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus, let water come back to boil, and boil one minute. Remove the asparagus and place immediately in a large bowl of ice water. Add the peas to the water, and drain as soon as the water comes back to a boil. Add the peas to the asparagus in the ice water.

In a small skillet on medium heat, add 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil, shallot and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Scrape into a blender. Add the peas and asparagus, reserving a few for garnish, if desired. Add to the blender 2 cups of broth and a generous pinch of salt and ground pepper. Blend until silky smooth. Taste for seasoning, add the lemon juice and more broth if too thick, and blend quickly to combine. Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

To serve, transfer the soup to bowls, and swirl one tablespoon of crème fresh decoratively into each bowl using a toothpick. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips, and a grind of fresh pepper and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Start Cooking

Prepare the Soup

Heat oil and butter in a four to five-quart pot. Add onion and celery and sauté over medium heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.

Add asparagus and peas and continue cooking for five more minutes. Add water, chicken soup mix, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf.

Using a slotted spoon, remove about 2/3 cup asparagus and 1/4 cup peas from the pot and set them aside for the garnish. Puree soup with an immersion blender. Stir in cooking cream, wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Heat for one to two minutes just until all flavors are absorbed. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.

Add the reserved asparagus and peas and stir for one minute, or just add them as garnish when serving the soup.

For a pareve version, use all oil and pareve cooking cream or pareve whipping cream. For a fleishig version use all oil, four cups chicken soup + one and 1/4 cups water (no cooking cream or whipping cream). Add meat or soup bones when adding the liquid. Cook for at least half an hour instead of 20 minutes.


A Shortcut Stock That Tastes Homemade

Since this dish consists of very few elements, it’s important that each one gives you all the layers of flavor. This shortcut stock is inspired by my favorite homemade version, which I make with chicken, leeks, garlic, spring alliums, and a Parmesan cheese rind. If I’m feeding vegetarians, I’ll skip the chicken and just simmer the Parmesan rind and aromatics.

Here, I infuse high-quality store-bought chicken stock (or frozen pre-made stock or bone broth I keep in my freezer) with extra aromatics and a Parmesan rind and let it simmer just  long enough to allow the flavors to meld with deep cheesy flavor. Vegetarians can start with their favorite store-bought vegetable broth.

As for the tortellini, there are tons of great store-bought brands to choose from (I love this one). Keep in mind that brands vary in cook times, so be sure to cook your pasta according to package directions. And if you ever do have time, try making tortellini from scratch. This recipe would be great with tortellini stuffed with ricotta, garlic, lemon zest, and Parmesan.


Asparagus Pea Soup - Recipes

I’ve already talked enough about the weather this past week, so I’m not going to continue today. Like, we know, Alex. It’s spring and things are beautiful and you are making soup to celebrate. Gah. Please, I don’t want to be that person that only talks about what is happening with the weather. Or that person who only talks about babies. I fear I’ve already become that person as 99% of the conversations with my husband lately are about what’s growing in my belly.

Well, not today. Let’s chat soup!

Doesn’t this soup color make you so happy? It’s the perfect chartreuse / green and I’m all about it on my table. I love food that makes you smile when you look at it, and that’s definitely what’s going on here.

Plus, asparagus, peas, fennel. Yum. I might have gone a little crazy with the produce drawer, but I promise that you are rewarded with a flavorful, super creamy soup as a reward. I love serving a simple soup like this with crusty bread for an informal dinner party, or as a first course. Perhaps Easter, Passover, made it through the day without commenting on the temperature? Anything that calls for a celebration seems like a good enough reason to me.

We all know how I feel about textures. While I love a good creamy soup, that can’t be all there is. I need crunch, I need something to bite down on as I’m eating. If I don’t have that, all I can think of is baby food.

That’s why I loaded this one up with the garnishes. A drizzle of olive oil is a must. DO it! If you haven’t drizzled your food with good quality olive oil before, now is most definitely the time to start. It’s so luscious and fancy. Then, a generous sprinkle of fresh herbs, perhaps some crusty croutons if you prefer your bread in rather than dipped. And of course, freshly ground black pepper, another must that I’m not willing to compromise on.

Hope you love this one as much as we did. I almost licked the pot clean after scooping out the last bowl. Which, is as good of a sign as any that this is a keeper.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!