Quick Asparagus Soup: Don’t Throw Away the Ends!

http://greenlitebites.com/2011/04/13/quick-asparagus-soup/
20110412_asaparagussoup4

I’m lucky. Both husband and child LOVE asparagus. It took years to convince the husband but the Little Guy has always been fan, eating them like French fries when he was just “the toddler.” Him and I still use our fingers when having them with dinner. :)

Our favorite way to eat asparagus is just simply roasted with a tiny amount of olive oil and some kosher salt. If I’m feeling a bit creative I will marinate them or add some lime slices for my simple “Margarita Asparagus”

However, I decide to prepare it, I always start like this…

Quick Asparagus Soup: Don't Throw Away the Ends!  - cutting

The ends get cut or snapped off and thrown away.

I always thought this was such a waste but it was all I knew. It’s just the way it is. You throw away the ends of the asparagus. Right?

Well No MORE!

I was watching Rachael Ray the other day and she mentioned that the ends could still be eaten and used for soup. That was all I needed to hear.

The next time I made asparagus I saved the ends and boiled them in a bit of homemade chicken stock.

Quick Asparagus Soup: Don't Throw Away the Ends!  - boil

Then I blended them with a hand blender.

I was shocked at how good it was! Without adding anything else, the taste was divine! Like a fresh bowl of spring!

So I served it as it with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some bacon bits.

It was a perfect soup! For me anyway, I loved it. I didn’t even bother to have husband taste it. It’s just not his thing. The Little Guy wasn’t around but next time I’ll get him to try a sip. He’s not the biggest soup person but I’m curious what he thinks of the taste.

So next time you are about to through away the ends of your asparagus… DON’T! Even if you don’t have time to make the soup right away, throw the ends in the freezer. You can always make it another day.

I love not wasting anything!

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38 Comments and 3 Replies

  1. Kelly

    This is the most awesome thing – ever.
    I HATE throwing away the ends of the asparagus. I can’t wait to have soup!

  2. Ann

    That looks so yummy! I do the same thing with my broccoli stems (the rough part when you buy the whole bunch instead of just the crowns), but I never thought about doing it with asparagus. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Joline

    Roni, I have a question about kosher salt….is it a lot different than sea salt? What are the benefits of cooking with kosher salt vs. sea salt? I rarely use real table salt, so that I won’t ask about. thanks!

    1. Sarah

      Kosher salt is really koshering, or “kashering” salt. The larger grains are intended for drawing blood out of meat to make it kosher. Because of the large grain size it doesn’t require additives to improve the flow while pouring and prevent clumping. It may or may not have iodine added, which table salt generally does, for health reasons (many people were iodine deficient in the past). Sea salt is a specialty salt which doesn’t require added iodine and usually has no additives. Ultimately salt that we consume all comes from the sea, or from dried up seas, but some people swear by the health benefits or taste of sea salts, especially from certain regions. If you aren’t fussy about that you can use kosher salt interchangeably.

  4. Tamara

    Yay, I’m so excited to try this! I actually bought three bunches of asparagus this week and was planning to use one tonight to make Gina’s (Skinny Taste) Cream of Asparagus soup. I’m going to make yours as a separate batch so I can see what my kiddo thinks. Hooray for spring produce!

  5. Ana

    Roni – Apologize for the newbie kitchen question. I am just venturing into cooking. For your margarita asparagus – when you say roast, is that in the oven? what temperature? Thanks!

  6. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy

    What a neat post and so useful! We love eating asparagus but do end up throwing away the ends…Not anymore, thanks to your post. Looking forward to some great and quick asparagus soup soon. Thank you for posting!

  7. Jennifer

    A delicious topping to asparagus soup… as weird as it sounds… is popcorn! Add a few kernels to the top like croutons… yummy. When I was abroad in Ecuador, they’d make this for me! I love it. Will have to try your recipe!

  8. Sam

    I make this kind of soup all the time. I usually start with a bag of frozen peas (rinsed) plus anything else i have lurking in the fridge – baby carrotts, spinach etc. I use stock or just water if i dont have any stock and it is YUMMY. The color is so vibrant that you just know it is good for you :0) Never thought of using the stalks of anything so a whole new frugal world has just opended up to me :)))))

  9. Rachel

    Hi Roni…I made this soup yesterday to bring for lunch during the week and it seemed a bit watery for my liking; so I blended a can of butter beans and added that to the soup and it is soooo good!! Gave it a cream of asparagus soup consistency without a drop of cream! I also added a little cayenne pepper to mine because I like my soup with a kick :)

  10. Hila

    Hi Roni,

    I made this soup and it came out very stringy! any suggestions on how to fix it or why this might have happened?

  11. roni

    The first thing that comes to mind is not cooking them enough in the broth. Make sure they are soft before blending.

    The second thing would be to simply blend them more. Not sure if you can see in the pic but there is some “fibrous” texture to the soup. It’s not completely smooth.

    Hope that helps!

    The great thing about this idea is you can keep trying becuase you are just going to trough the ends out anyway! :)

  12. Mo

    Roni,
    What do you figure the points would be on the soup- Zero before adding the sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some bacon bits?

  13. Allison K

    Roni, I’m back after a couple years, and back on OLD WW – and you have a baby! It’s crazy. Just wanted to say thanks for continuing to share so many great ideas. I’m having blast looking through all the ‘new to me’ recipes.

    I too, love asparagus, and it’s this kind of thing that makes me want to bite the bullet and get a VitaMix… instead of throwing those asparagus ends into the compost!

  14. Emily Freeman

    I used the ends and they were so stringy I had to throw the soup away it was awful, the ends I had must have been just too fiberous. I even used the food processor!

  15. roni

    Emily – I thin it depends on how mature the asparagus is. I had much better luck with younger ones. They are less fibrous. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  16. Tina

    Bummer, mine turned out stringy too. It tasted good though, but I couldn’t get past the stringy texture. Tried blending it like crazy but still no luck.

  17. Jennifer

    The idea of this soup was amazing. It’s winter so fresh asparagus is not readily available. I used canned asparagus (1 can) which was easier to puree since it has been softened from the water in the can. I used other reviewer’s suggestion and added butter beans (half a can). I pureed the asparagus and beans in the blender, poured into a sauce pot, added 1 cup of fat-free chicken broth and heated to a boil. I topped with Roni’s original bacon bits and grated parmesan along with a 1/2 tablespoon of crushed almonds. The flavor combination of the asparagus, nuttiness of the cheese and almonds, and the creamy “oomph” from the beans made this soup absolutely delectable!

    Thank you Roni for providing the inspiration for such a quick, simple, and yummy soup.

  18. Dorene Hodin

    Hi Looking forward to trying your soup. This time of the year I am always asked to bring my strawberry asparagus salad, so I always have stem ends left.
    here is my recipe 2 bunches of asparagus cooked crisp tender and chilled. 1 pint strawberries hulled and sliced. dressing 1/4 cuo sugar, 2 tbs vinegar, 1 tbs poppy seeds, 1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, 3/4 tsp grated onion, 1/8 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp worchershire sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbs water. Put in jar and shake to disolve sugar. Add 1/4 cup oil and shake again and chill for 1 hour. Layer asparagus spears in 9×13 glass pan, spread strawberries over the top and then sprinkle 1/4 cup or more of blue cheese crumbles on top. Re-shake dressing and pour over the salad. enjoy!

  19. Hailey

    Thank you for saving another bunch of ends from the trash pit! wanted to roast then make roasted asparagus soup in my vita mixer with my soup button (best thing ever) you all might be interested in the homemade enzyme cleaner with your citrus apple and pineapple rinds google it super easy and fresh and it makes a great face cleanser too made a remarkable difference in one wash! happy cheap and better new year

  20. Jessica Cali

    I will be trying this!! I am about to do some asparagus with dinner – so I’ll make sure I keep the ends! The men in the house don’t like soup but I love it! Thanks for this :)

  21. Nicole

    I have some ends in the freezer waiting to be made into soup; once I have the ends from a 2nd bunch I’ll have a little bit more to play with!

    I’m also going to throw the green parts of half a leek in the freezer bag (the other half is going into the chicken stock I’m making tonight!). Trying to get less waste out of the veggies I buy!

  22. Jara

    I made this the other day using a Cook’s Illustrated tip for cooking broccoli for soup- add about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the asparagus ends as they are cooking in the broth. Apparently it makes the cell walls break down easier for a smoother consistency. With a touch of grated cheese it makes a great soup.

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