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Reach Healthy New Heights with Asparagus Try These Two New Recipes Before End of Asparagus Season

Jun 03, 2024 ● By Veronica Hinke
Cilantro Asparagus Soup.

Photo by Veronica Hinke.

Asparagus season is almost at its end in northern Illinois. The short season when locally grown asparagus is available in May and June is just one reason this popular vegetable is so special. 

Another reason asparagus is such a favorite is because of how the tall spears almost seem to shout "spring." Whether rising up from the ground or standing high in the produce aisle or at the farmers market, asparagus easily grabs our attention.

And it’s a good thing, too, because the spears are sources of iron, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants.

While some asparagus is white, other asparagus is green (or even purple) because it is exposed to more sun, which provides the chlorophyll that makes it this hue. Even though green asparagus absorbs more sun, white asparagus provides almost the same amount of nutritional value.

Asparagus is related to onions, leeks and garlic, yet its flavor is much milder than its pungent cousins.

Chop up fresh asparagus tips and toss them into a lettuce salad. Sauté asparagus tips with mushrooms and mix them in with rice. Set the rice in a gelatin mold to create a pretty presentation with pops of bright green.

Or, spend a little more time and make a chilled soup that will be refreshing on one of the first hot days of the season. Make some yummy asparagus gougères (pronounced goo-jer) to serve with the soup. Gougères are tiny cheese pastries made with choux dough. The versatile bites can be made with a wide variety of ingredients, including small pieces of asparagus tips. They are delicious with soup or passed as an appetizer—or both.

Chilled Asparagus Soup with Cilantro and Lime


Yield: 4 Servings

½ Tbsp butter

½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup chopped red onion

1 clove garlic, rough-chopped

4 cups asparagus stalks, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 cup cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish

2 small jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
   (save 1 tsp for garnish)

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground multi-colored peppercorns

32 oz vegetable broth

Juice and zest from ½ of 1 small lime


In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter and heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion becomes translucent. Add the asparagus, cilantro, peppers, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook until asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 30-40 minutes.

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for several minutes.

When cool enough to blend, place the soup in the blender and add the lime juice. Blend on high until well blended.

Set in the refrigerator to chill.

When chilled, pour the soup into bowls. Garnish in the center with the reserved cilantro leaves and jalapeño peppers; sprinkle lime zest across the soup. 

Recipe from Veronica Hinke.

Photo by Veronica Hinke


Asparagus and Mustard Gougères

Yield: About 48 Puffs

2 cups whole milk

8 Tbsp butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

2 tsp sea salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

8 large eggs

½ pound Gruyère cheese, shredded

½ cup finely chopped fresh asparagus tips

2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large, heavy saucepan over high heat, combine 2 cups of the milk, butter and salt, and bring to a boil. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and pulls cleanly away from the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, add the eggs to the milk-and-flour mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition until thoroughly incorporated and the dough is smooth and shiny, about 5 minutes. Stir in ¾ of the cheese, distributing it evenly. Stir in the asparagus and mustard.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Alternatively, you can use a large plastic storage bag with ½-inch of a bottom corner cut off. Roll the sides of the bag down so that you can fill it at the open end. Fill the bag with the pastry, roll the sides back up and press the dough into the open corner.

Pipe mounds of dough about 2 inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

You should have about 48 puffs. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ of the cheese on the pastry mounds.

Bake the pastries until well puffed and golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Serve right away.

Recipe from Titanic: The Official Cookbook, by Veronica Hinke (Weldon Owen, 2023).

Veronica Hinke specializes in historical cooking and entertaining. She is the author of The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining and Style; Titanic: The Official Cookbook; Harry Potter: Afternoon Tea Magic: Official Snacks, Sips and Sweets Inspired by the Wizarding World; and The Great Gatsby Cooking and Entertaining Guide. Learn more at