Instant Pot Creamy Asparagus Soup
If ever there was a soup perfectly suited for spring, it’d be this one. Full of asparagus, leeks, and herbs, plus some crispy prosciutto and nutty pecorino cheese, this soup is as bright and aromatic as it is rich and creamy. And all of the magic — the sautéeing, the simmering, the puréeing — happens right in the Instant Pot.
We layer ribbons of prosciutto in the bottom of the Instant Pot and cook them on the sauté setting until they’re nice and crispy. The pork fat renders and settles in the bottom of the pot, creating an ultra savory base upon which to layer in all the other flavors of the soup: sweet yellow onion, aromatic leeks, spicy crushed red pepper, vegetal asparagus, and starchy potatoes. Once all those veggies are tender and fragrant, we add a splash of white wine and chicken broth, and then let the pressure cooker work its steamy wonders.
A quick whirl with the immersion blender, a handful of grated pecorino, and a squeeze of lemon juice, and the soup is ready for garnishes. The crispy prosciutto finally makes its cameo, and we add in a dollop of crème fraîche for creamy tang. But our favorite part — the part that makes this dish a standout? The fresh chives and dill fronds. We love the contrast of their bright, herbaceous flavors against the smoky saltiness of the prosciutto and the lingering heat of the crushed red pepper.
This soup is great for a weeknight dinner: it’s so quick and unfussy, but looks and tastes like something on a luxe prix fixe menu. This also makes it a particularly fantastic opening course for special-occasion dinners (perhaps followed by crispy salmon and wilted chard?). As for wine, we’d go with a vibrant, aromatic white, like gewürztraminer — it’ll play nicely with the red pepper and the herbs.
2 bunches asparagus (roughly 2 lb)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz prosciutto, for garnish
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced, soaked, and drained
½ tsp Gelson’s crushed red pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 1” cubes
¼ cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth
½ cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground Gelson’s black pepper, to taste
½ cup crème fraîche, for garnish
Gelson’s organic fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
Gelson’s organic fresh dill fronds, for garnish
Trim and discard the woody ends of the asparagus. Cut the asparagus into 1 ½” pieces and set aside.
Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, and set to “sauté.” Working in batches, add the prosciutto in single layers and cook until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes, flip, and crisp the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the butter, onions, leeks, crushed red pepper, and a large pinch of kosher salt. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to become translucent.
Add the asparagus and potatoes, and continue to sauté for 2 minutes more, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are well combined and the asparagus is fragrant. Add the white wine, stir, and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the chicken broth, lock the lid into place, and switch the pressure valve to “sealing.” Turn the Instant Pot off and then set to “pressure cook” on the HIGH pressure setting for 10 minutes.
When the timer goes off, press “cancel,” switch the pressure valve to “venting,” and allow it to release and cool for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid, and carefully use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the pecorino cheese and lemon juice, and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Stir to combine until the cheese is melted.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with the crumbled crispy prosciutto, crème fraîche, chives, and dill. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Recipe adapted from: A Beautiful Plate