Make Ahead

Thai-Scented Asparagus Soup With Coconut Milk

May 23, 2012
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This fragrant soup brings Thai flavors—coconut, lemongrass and ginger – to a fresh, bright, versatile asparagus soup. It can easily be made vegetarian or vegan, works at any time of year (though it is especially great in the spring) and is both filling and healthy. We love to have it for lunch on a casual week day or for an appetizer for a fancy dinner. With a soup like this you just can't go wrong! —Fig Test Kitchen

What You'll Need
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or canola oil
  • 3 pounds asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Cook onion in 3 tablespoons butter or oil in a 6-8 quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring until softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add lemongrass and ginger and continue cooking until vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add asparagus pieces, salt and pepper, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk and 5 cups of broth. Simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Puree soup in batches in a blender or with a immersion blender until smooth, transferring to a bowl after blending if using a blender since you will need to do it in several batches (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pot. If the soup is too thick, add up to another cup of broth, and cook for about five minutes, or until the soup is warm.
  6. Add lemon juice, and serve with a garnish of chives or cilantro. (Soup may be prepared a day in advance. If making ahead, add the lemon juice after reheating.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sam1148
  • Yrenia Sala
    Yrenia Sala
  • Deborah Scanlan
    Deborah Scanlan
  • me brumbaugh
    me brumbaugh
  • AntoniaJames

10 Reviews

Sam1148 April 8, 2022
One of my first 'dorm room' recipes was this type of soup. Not having access to fresh asparagus. I used canned asparagus. Which works surprisingly well for the stock portion.
I'll still make it with canned and steamed broccoli. Then blend and use a bit of fresh Asparagus for garnish if I have it.
Yrenia S. September 6, 2019
In keeping with the Thai inspired soup, I've added Kaffir lime leaves to infuse the broth with that distinct, yet lovely citrusy floral aroma. I also like to serve it topped with crispy bacon lardons or alongside salmon.

This recipe has been on rotation for over five years now, and it always delivers. I even made it as freeze ahead meals for my two babies, as they love it as much as I do.
Linda D. July 11, 2018
Greatly enjoyed this delicious asparagus soup. I did not add lemon directly into the soup. I served it on the side so each one could add as much as they wanted. YUM!
Sidney April 3, 2018
Couldn't find any lemongrass so used lemon zest instead. Added juice from half a lemon. Very lovely flavour :)
Florence L. September 24, 2015
Made it yesterday, didn't change a thing, served it today, it was great!
ghainskom April 28, 2014
I put the lemongrass whole in the soup and removed it before pureeing. I cut the ginger down to 2 tbsp for the sake of my kids. My 6 yo had 3 servings of this. That says a lot.
Deborah S. April 28, 2014
I made this soup as a first course for a dinner party this weekend. All though I love lemongrass, I found it to be a little overpowering in the soup. I ended up straining the soup after it was pureed as the texture was too fibrous. Having made the soup the night before the party, the flavors had a chance to meld and it was much better the next day. I chose to serve it cold in Japanese tea bowls and garnished with finely chopped red peppadew. The soup was a unique beginning to the dinner and the guests loved it.
Jinnie22 April 2, 2014
I am teaching this soup in class tomorrow! I used coconut oil instead of butter, added some ponzu, the juice of a lime, and a good pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick. I am not a fan of asparagus, so I dread teaching the obligatory asparagus every spring, so I'm really happy I found this recipe!
me B. May 29, 2013
Making this now. I did substitute cream of chicken soup for chicken broth because that's what I have. Also I added an extra half cup of coconut milk because I'm using the So Delicious brand in the box, which is much less richer than canned coconut milk. And, I thought I had lemongrass but I checked and it is fenugreek, a different Indian spice but still offering a fresh flavor. Should be interesting :) Can't wait to sample it!
AntoniaJames May 18, 2013
I have never tried freezing this soup, but I've frozen pureed soups made with dal, coconut milk and veggies. The coconut milk does separate, but a quick once-over with the immersion blender sets things right. Freezing can affect the intensity of flavor, however. With three tablespoons (!) of ginger and lemongrass, it probably will taste okay, although asparagus tends toward to be delicate, so you may end up tasting the aromatics more, once frozen. I'd probably make a pot of this, serve most of it shortly after cooking, while reserving a cup to freeze and then test, before I'd freeze an entire batch. ;o)