There is something slightly magical about those first moments of spring, when the dark, cold days of winter give way to hopeful new growth. As a firm believer in eating with the seasons, I feel such excitement when springtime produce finally starts to appear, and to me, nothing says spring quite like asparagus. When I saw the bright green stalks peaking up through the soil in my garden, I was instantly inspired to create this Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup. Bright, delicate, and silky smooth, this soup is like springtime in a bowl.
Given their delicate, slender appearance, it can be surprising to learn just how much nutrition is packed into stalks of asparagus. For starters, compared to other vegetables, asparagus is relatively high in protein, with almost half of their calories coming from protein. Asparagus is also an excellent source of a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, such as B-Complex vitamins, vitamin C, copper, and iron. Especially intriguing is the high concentration of phytonutrients present in asparagus. For example, glutathione and rutin have antioxidant properties, while asparagus saponins have been shown to inhibit inflammation.
Traditionally, a soup like this would most likely be rich and creamy due to copious amounts of dairy included in the recipe. However, this beautiful bowl of Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup relies on a simple cashew cream to create a luscious, velvety texture. Not only do the cashews add a delicious flavor and texture, but they amp up the nutritional profile of this dish as well. Cashews are a great source of monounsaturated fats derived from oleic acid, which is known to be protective against cancer and heart disease. They also have an ample amount of protein, with each 1/4 cup serving providing over 7 grams of protein. Additionally, cashews are a good source of many minerals, including copper, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
Taking advantage of seasonal produce at the peak of freshness, this Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup makes for a satisfying and health-supportive recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think!Print
Bright, delicate, and silky smooth, this Vegan Cream of Asparagus Soup is like springtime in a bowl. Filled with the fresh flavors of asparagus, peas, lemon, and dill, this simple soup is rendered luxuriously creamy thanks to the addition of a cashew cream sauce.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups raw unsalted cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
- 5 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3 bunches asparagus (about 3 lbs), trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup peas
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 lemons, zested and juiced
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped dill
- In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, and 1/4 tsp of the salt. Stirring occasionally, cook until vegetables are softened and onion is translucent, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cashew cream. Rinse and drain the soaked cashews. In a high speed blender, combine cashews, 1 cup of the broth, and nutritional yeast. Blend on high until completely creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
- Add asparagus, peas, garlic, capers, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and remaining 3/4 tsp of the salt to the stock pot. Cook until asparagus is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add remaining 4 cups of the broth, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, and dill, stirring well to combine. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a high speed blender until very creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Return to pot.
- Add cashew cream to the soup and stir well to combine. Rewarm over medium heat.