Leek, Asparagus, and Fennel Soup

Served hot or chilled, this soup is the flavor of Asparagus Season!

Asparagus season is fleeting here in the Northeast, but we celebrate it with great flair. There are even asparagus festivals to celebrate this vegetable with every possible cooking method! Raw, baked, roasted, boiled, braised, sautéed, steamed, stir-fried, and grilled, any way you cook it, the tender spears will delight. Just don’t overcook it or you’ll get slimy strings!

There will always be a few pots of asparagus soup in my house in the spring, and I try to change it up a little different each year. This time around, I added a spring parsnip for sweetness and a bulb of fennel, one of my favorite vegetables.

As with many of my soups, all the trimmings go into making a quick stock to both enhance the flavor of the soup elements, and cut down on kitchen waste. 

Leek, Asparagus, and Fennel Soup

  • 2 large leeks
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ lb. asparagus
  • 2 ounces pea shoots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 spring parsnip

Prep the vegetables: Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and scrub any dirt from them under running water. Cut the dark outside leaves from the leeks and place in a stock pot along with the skins of the garlic. Mince and reserve the white parts. 

Peel the onion, chop it into small dice. Place all onion trimmings in the stock pot. 

Trim the tough ends from the asparagus and place in the stock pot. Chop up the spears and set aside. 

Peel the parsnip, dice it up, and put peelings in the stock pot.

Chop the ferns and stems from the fennel. Cut the bulb in quarters and remove the core. Place all trimmings in the stock pot. Dice the fennel and set aside.

Make the stock: Add six cups of water to the stock pot along with the pea shoots, bay leaf, and fennel seeds. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool, then strain.

Assemble the soup: Heat the olive oil over medium high and add the leeks, onions, and fennel. Sauté until soft, then add the garlic for another 30 seconds. Add the diced asparagus and parsnip, and the vegetable stock, season.

Bring to a boil, then simmer just until the vegetables are tender. Remove a few ladles of the vegetables if you want more texture, then using a hand blender, traditional blender, food processor, or food mill, puree to desired consistency. Add the reserved vegetables back in and correct the seasoning.

Serve up as is, or you can add just a bit of cream or plant cream if you like, or a drizzle of lemon juice.

Hurry, asparagus season is almost over!

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28 Comments Add yours

  1. gabychops says:

    Thank you, it is a lovely dish!

    Joanna

  2. Suzassippi says:

    Sounds delicious, and as always, love how your flower garnish matches the dish! That is a beautiful soup tureen.

    1. Thank you! I love those dishes as well. I started with a few from my mom and got lucky at some flea markets. I used them every day at the inn, and they held up without a chip! So pretty too.

  3. NativeNM says:

    I would welcome a cold soup this week, high 90’s all week. Sounds delicious!

    1. Yes, we are definitely transitioning into cold soup weather, and I always find them refreshing.

  4. Great fresh flavors in this soup. So perfect for the season. 🙂

    1. So simple Ronit! Everything good is coming into being!

  5. Gail says:

    Such a striking presentation with the pretty pink petals complimenting the rim of the bowl. Now for a taste of the asparagus delight! 🍃🌸😋

    1. It’s one of my favorite seasons of the year!

  6. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable but I’ve never made asparagus soup! I bet the fennel adds a nice punch. Your presentation is beautiful!

    1. Thank you Jenna! It’s one of my favorite veggies too!

  7. Nancy says:

    I agree with Jenna above… I love asparagus but have never had asparagus soup. And the flowers matching the soup bowl is beautiful!

  8. Ally Bean says:

    What are pea shoots? Inquiring minds and all that…

    1. Pea shoots are little sprouts from peas, originally they were the thinnings after a crop was planted. But somewhere along the line, the farmers recognized that the shoots are absolutely delicious, grow really fast as a crop, and can be grown all winter under glass. We find them everywhere now, all year long! If you’re not near a farm, check your local supermarket. You might find them by the snow peas, etc.

      1. Ally Bean says:

        Huh. Will look for them. Thanks for explaining.

      2. They are delicious, and every single part of the pea plant is tasty and edible, with the exception of the pods of the shelling peas. Those are also edible and tasty, although too tough to want to eat. However, they make a superb pea stock!

  9. Love the combination of ingredients. I bet this soup tastes delicious.

    1. Thanks Jovina! It’s really tasty, the flavor of spring fresh!

  10. I’m not a fan of leeks but I love asparagus and fennel and I would give it a go to this soup because sounds really delicious! And the presentation is beautiful too!

    1. Thank you Ribana! You can easily substitute a large sweet onion for the leek. It’s mostly about the asparagus!

  11. nancyc says:

    Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies, but I’ve never used in it soup! I need to try that!

    1. It’s so light and refreshing! You can almost think it’s a spring tonic!

  12. Christy B says:

    A yummy soup – and a light one for me to try!

    1. I love this so much, with the asparagus season dwindling, I bought a super large bunch, steamed them, put them through the food processor, and tucked it in the freezer for next winter. I’ll be glad for this!

      1. Christy B says:

        Great idea!

  13. Great combination Dorothy. Beautiful presentation too. ❤️

    1. Love to make it look pretty!

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