Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cold Asparagus Soup with a hint of Dijon

Raw asparagus is something that Dan and I both like. It doesn’t hurt that is also known to inhibit cancer cell growth. In the spring we eat a lot of asparagus. Today we thought it would make a nice soup. As usual we used raw cashews to stand in for the cream. I added a little Dijon for a subtle background flavor. Morels were used for garnish because Dan loves morels, they are a spring fungus and they go well with asparagus. Here is what I did.

Cold Asparagus Soup with a hint of Dijon
Serves 4


1 yellow onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
¼ cup water
½ cup raw cashews
1 cup water, or what is necessary to process the soup
2 pounds asparagus
1 – 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
4 dried morel mushrooms, for garnish
Water to soften the morels
Salt or lemon zest for garnish - optional


Sauté the onions and garlic in water until soft and water has mostly evaporated.

While the onions are softening remove the stringy ends from the asparagus and discard. Remove the tips and save for garnish. Cut the remaining asparagus stems thinly and place them in your blender. By cutting the asparagus thinly you should be able to avoid needing to sieve the soup. Add the cooked onions and garlic to the blender with the water, raw cashews and Dijon. Process until smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary. Refrigerate the soup and asparagus tips until serving.

Meanwhile place the morels and a little water in a microwave safe bowl and heat until the water is beginning to simmer. The morels will be soft enough to slice thinly in about 30 minutes, but soaking them longer is also fine. These are used for garnish.

To plate the soup top with reserved asparagus spears, morel slices and finish with a little salt or lemon zest (if desired).

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 133.55
Calories From Fat (36%) - 48.61

Total Fat - 5.86g
Saturated Fat - 1.05g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 172.47mg
Potassium - 604.36mg
Total Carbohydrates - 16.75g
Fiber - 6.03g
Sugar - 6.28g
Protein - 8.04g


This is a lovely light soup. Perfect for when the weather is beginning to turn warm are you are thinking of shorts and bathing suits. This soup has a very light flavor, but one that we enjoy. If you wanted to make something bolder I have made it with a touch of horseradish and that was also good, but very different. This soup is also nice with a dollop of tofu sour cream or silken tofu and tahini sauce.

Unrelated note:

When the weather turns warm my cooking tends to become lighter and more raw. In the middle of summer almost everything I make will be chilled. I don’t enjoy hot food very much in the summer time. This year I plan to try to live seasonally by minimizing our use of air conditioning and eating cool and cold food. We will see how long this lasts. I tend to be a bit of creature comfort seeker. But I am determined so we will see how long I make it.

This will be the last post tonight. Time to start winding down for the evening and get my tasks outlined for tomorrow. I will be back as soon as I have time to come up for air. Talk to you all again soon.


  1. Your soup looks brilliant! I bought some asparagus last week, and it was very good!

    I made your porky seitan cutlets today and posted them on my blog, go check it out girlie!!!!

  2. Brandi,

    Thank you so much for your kind words regarding the soup.

    I will be right over to your blog.


  3. Mmmm! I love asparagus, but usually only saute it. Thanks for giving me another idea! You have the most creative ideas, I love the thought of using cashews for the "cream" base. I'm in the midst of cutting many unhealthy things out of my diet, and I am going to start doing this rather than using dairy in the things I make. Yet another great post!


  4. Kristi,

    I am so happy that I can help you reduce your dairy intake. As you know I think it is not healthy. I wish I had reduced my intake of dairy when I was your age. ;-)

    Thank you for your kind words,

  5. This looks yummy Alicia...and it is a good idea to make a cold soup with asparagus...I've been munching on the stuff quite a bit over the past week in salad...this has to be good esp. w/ the Dijon.

  6. I am so glad you liked it!
    I seriously was wow'd. I knew it would be tasty, but man!
    I thought the pictures did it justice, I wanted a drool factor!! lOl

  7. This sounds so good. Jason and I were really wanting asparagus last night actually.

  8. Yummy Asparagus the way you have presented the soup...

  9. Rose,

    I used raw asparagus for the "health factor" but the taste was great. Very light and mild. Makes a great spring dish, I hope you try it.


    That was one of my better pictures. I took my time when arranging the toppings. Dan thought it looked like a modern painting.


    It was really good, I hope you try it. As always I can't wait to see how you tweak it.


    Thanks, I took a littl extra time on the presentation of this one.


    I sort of thought the same thing. I guess I should spend more time on presentation going forward. Sometimes I am too impatient.


  10. Mmm - beautiful soup! It's definitely time to start eating some more asparagus!

  11. Your asparagus soup looks so wonderful! I'm a fan of asparagus but I seldom buy them because my son doesn't like it. I really love this simple recipe and your presentation is absolutely beautiful. Way to go, Alicia!

  12. I am having serious morel envy ;-)
    I can't justify the cost of them for my large family:( But I can remember my grandmother picking them, and how delicious they were. I wouldn't try that, I can't tell the difference between them and the poisonous mushrooms.

    I can just about eat my weight in asparagus, so I love this recipe, Alicia!!

  13. I'm back and I have much catching up to do around here! I just scrolled through your last 2 weeks of posting and there are many delicious looking things. That barley risotto is calling to me now in particular! Love to see you continuing to experiment with vegan mayonnaise as well. Catch up with you soon!

  14. yum! I have some asparagus I need to use up. I don't have cashews, couls I substitute soaked almonds or walnuts?

  15. Holla,

    I love asparagus, which is why spring is always very welcome at our house.


    Thanks, that is very sweet of you to say.


    I love morels too but like you would never even consider trying to find them wild. We would end up in trouble for sure.


    Glad you are back safely. I bet your trip was wonderful.


    You could use almonds but I would recommend that you blanch and peel them first. I used cashews because they get completely smooth. Almonds may be a little gritty. Walnuts would get smooth but I think the color wouldn't be as pretty. Do you have macadamia or pine nuts? Both of those would work.

    Sorry it took me so long to reply. Things here have been extremely hectic.


  16. I keep reading and re-reading your recipe but don't understand where the cashews factors in. Did you omit instructions on what to do with them, or is making cashew cream a separate recipe that wasn't linked to this one? Hoping someone can enlighten me! Thanks!!

  17. Isthium,

    Thanks for noticing my omission. I added the cashews to the directions.

    I use a Vitamix to make "cream" soups. If you will be using a less powerful blender it would help to soak the cashews for at least 30 minutes and then drain before adding them to the blender.



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