This Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custard may be the last asparagus soup recipe you will need!
Wow! The flavours here are not overwhelming but they are distinct. A creamy yet light soup with little custard islands in the middle.
Evaporated milk is the answer here to keep this soup down in calories and richness.
This soup got rave reviews with every sip and recipe requests in between spoonfuls!
Chef's Tips for Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custard
- Timing here is key. Make the custards and when they go in the oven, prepare the soup. you will have about 45 minutes to prep the ingredients and simmer. Soup can be kept warm over low heat if done before the custards.
- I have made the custards ahead of time and gently reheated in the oven when ready to serve. This works but they are delicate and they may get a bit messy when you transfer them on a spatula to the soup bowls.
- Your grated cheese for the custard should be quite fine or the texture will be coarse. My steeped milk looked almost solid because it had absorbed the cheese. It the steeped milk has distinct cheese solids you may want to strain it to remove the coarse cheese bits.
- You want your ramekins to be small so the custard has enough height to clear the soup. The bigger the ramekin the thinner your custard will be.
- This soup holds well in the fridge and reheats nicely but transferring the custards can be tricky as indicated above.
- I was tempted to make only half a batch but I am glad I made the whole thing! We loved it so much we were happy to have leftovers!
Wine Pairing for Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custard
Sauvignon Blanc is my go to wine for pairing with asparagus. I prefer a Loire Sauvignon Blanc for its more subtle herbalness but if you are fan of the more robust Marlborough style go for it! A Muscadet from the Loire Valley would also be a good choice. An unoaked, citrus-y, cool-climate Chardonnay would work too.
A dry Rosé or a light unoaked red could work. Consider a New World Pinot Noir or a Saumur-Champigny from the Loire that can be lightly chilled before serving.
Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custard
- 6 2-oz ramekins
- 1 ¼ cups finely grated Parmesan about 2 ½ ounces. I used the Kraft commercially ground parmesan for this.
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 3 eggs
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 leek, white part only
- ½ cup shallots finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tbsps unsalted butter
- 2 ½ lbs fresh asparagus cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1 ½" pieces
- 3 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ¾ cups evaporated milk
- grated fresh parmesan for garnish
- Combine parmesan and milk in a saucepan and just bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 300° F. Spray ramekins with cooking spray.
- Beat eggs, salt and pepper til well blended. Add steeped milk and continue to beat until well blended.
- Divide mixture evenly between 6 ramekins. Add water to a baking pan large enough to hold the 6 ramekins. Set ramekins in the pan. Water should come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the middle of the oven until centers come clean on a knife blade about 45 minutes. (Make soup while ramekins bake. You want the soup to be finished first so it can keep warm until the custards are done.)
- Transfer ramekins to a rack to cool. After 5 minutes run a knife gently around the outside of the custard and invert to the center of a shallow soup bowl. Do not let the ramekins sit for more than 5 minutes or they will not release from the ramekin.
- While the custards are baking, cut the leek length-wise and fan the layers under cold water to clean. Drain and finely chop.
- Melt butter in saucepan large enough to hold finished soup. Add leeks, shallots, salt and pepper and sauté about 3 minutes till leek softens.
- Add the asparagus, broth and evaporated milk. Simmer covered for 12 minutes. Remove 6 tips about 4 minutes in to the simmering and reserve for garnish.
- Purée soup in blender until smoother. (In batches if necessary). Return purée to the pot and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Keep it warm over low heat until ready to serve.
- Ladle soup into shallow soup bowls around custards. Garnish with reserved asparagus tips and freshly grated parmesan if desired.