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Getty Images / Asparagus cream soup served with croutons.

Prep time: 10 minutes | Ready in: 30 minutes | Servings: 4

 

Why we love it:

From seed, asparagus takes two to three years to harvest.

And did you know there is a white variety, which can be grown from the same plant as green?

But amid all that's surprising about asparagus, here's our favorite fact: The stalk vegetable makes a delicious soup.

Low in calories and packed with antioxidants, minerals and such essential vitamins as A, C, E, K and B6, asparagus offers a myriad of health benefits. It can boost our immune systems, promote digestive health and — here's another fun fact — according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science, its amino acids may also help ease hangovers.

So toss a handful of stalks into a saucepan and get simmering with this easy recipe. The result is a creamy soup with a taste as fresh as spring.

 

What you need:

1 pound fresh asparagus

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 3/4 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground black pepper

1 cup milk

1/2 cup yogurt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

What you do:

1. Place asparagus and onion in a saucepan with 1/2 cup vegetable broth. Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until vegetables are tender.

2. Reserve a few asparagus tips for garnish. Place remaining vegetable mixture in an electric blender and puree until smooth.

3. Melt butter in the pan used for simmering the asparagus and onion. Stir while sprinkling in flour, salt and pepper. Do not let flour brown; allow mixture to cook only 2 minutes.

4. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth and increase the heat. Continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil.

5. Stir vegetable puree and milk into saucepan. Whisk yogurt into the mixture, followed by lemon juice. Stir until heated through, then ladle into bowls. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Cook's note: You can substitute soy products to make this vegan.

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