Chicken Asparagus Soup

There’s just something about asparagus. I love the look of its long spears, vibrant green colour, and fresh but earthy taste. Any time I go to a restaurant, I’m drawn to dishes that have asparagus in them. Part of the reason why might be because there’s so little that I do with it at home. I usually have it with poached eggs or bake it with drizzled olive oil, salt, and pepper. Plus, it’s usually so expensive. I don’t like paying $5.99/lb for a bunch of asparagus. Luckily, Costco has started selling 2 lbs of it for about $6 so I no longer have to wait until asparagus season to buy it. Which brings me to today’s recipe: Chicken Asparagus Soup. And of course, with me completely addicted to my Instant Pot, I had to make it in there! Feel free to use any pot or slow cooker though – they’ll all get you the same result.

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With the crazy cold and ice storm April brought us, I was again thinking about making a warm and comforting dish that would help the family forget about the insanity outside. This dish is so delicious that my hubby has been raving about it to the whole family, even forcing them have a spoonful of our leftovers! If you’re a soup lover – and even if you’re not – I think this is an easy and full-flavoured soup that everyone will go bonkers for. Pair it with a sandwich, toast, salad, or just on its own. It’s a great main or side.

This is a yummy and healthy dish to eat. Not kind of healthy, but actually healthy. I’ve made this dish twice in the past week and both my hubby and toddler are asking for it again. Plus it doesn’t hurt that it’s also a hit with the baby.

Ingredients

Before you start chopping and cooking, decide if you are planning on pureéing the soup. If you are, you can keep your chopped ingredients fairly large. But if you don’t want to pureé it, make sure you chop your veggies small enough to fit onto a spoon as well as fit in your baby’s mouth/hand. Go ahead and chop your potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots. A friendly reminder that if you’re using a regular blender and know that it doesn’t completely pureé potato skins, you may want to peel the potatoes first. I use a Blendtec so it pulverizes all of skins so it’s not a danger to my baby when he’s eating.

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Next, put the chopped veggies, but not the asparagus, in the Instant Pot (or pot or slow cooker) along with the no salt added chicken broth and the spices. Then, carefully place the chicken breast halves on top using a pair of tongs. They will absorb all of the flavour of the spices, broth, and vegetables while cooking in the pot. Close your lid and set your Instant Pot to the Soup setting for 20 minutes. If you’re using a slow cooker, check on your chicken at about 3 hours (on High) or 6 hours (on Low). You want it to be fully cooked but not falling apart in the soup. If using a large pot, cook for about 15 to 20 mins. Remember to set your trusty timer!

While the soup is cooking, rinse the asparagus and prepare it for chopping. The stems of the asparagus are very tough and inedible so it’s extremely important to cut them off at the right place. Each asparagus spear will have a natural break to it so it’s best to find this sweet spot instead of taking a knife to it. To find this natural breaking point, take one end of the spear in each hand and bend until it breaks.

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Once all of the stems are broken off, they can be discarded (or possibly used to make a vegetable broth – I’ll be trying this soon) and the rest of the asparagus can be chopped. Since I’ll be pureéing my soup, I like cutting my asparagus into 1″ segments.

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Once the timer goes off, take the chicken out of the pot using a pair of tongs and place them on a plate. Add the asparagus to the soup, close the lid, and set to Soup again for 5 minutes. You want the asparagus to be fully cooked and soft. If using a slow cooker, set on High for 20 minutes or Low for 40 minutes. If using a pot, cook for 5 minutes.

 

While the asparagus is cooking, take 4 of the chicken breast halves and pull them apart into strips. You can use two forks to do this using a “pulled pork” style. However, I always end up using my hands – it’s just easier for me. If you’re planning on giving the chicken to your baby as a finger food, go ahead and shred that as well. Set it aside so you don’t accidentally add it to the family soup later.

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Once the asparagus is done, take the soup in batches to the blender and blend until pureéd. I usually use a large mixing bowl to hold the pureéed soup until it’s all done. Once the entire soup is smooth, return it to your cooking pot. I like to pureé the soup for the whole family before preparing baby’s version. This way I can make sure that all of the flavours are really combined as well as ensuring that the soup has a nice consistency.

Take 2 cups of the soup and add it to the blender with the leftover chicken breast half. Pureé it until smooth or, for an older baby, mix until there are small pieces of chicken left. Adding the chicken in now will also thicken the consistency of the soup for your baby.

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That’s it! The baby version is done! You can serve it immediately or store it for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. I wouldn’t recommend freezing this soup as it loses its consistency once it’s thawed.

Now it’s time to focus on the rest of the family. Add the chicken, milk, and salt to the pot of soup. Stir well to evenly distribute the ingredients. Then ladle into bowls. Add a generous amount of parmesan cheese and enjoy! Seriously, don’t forget to add the parmesan…It really makes this dish!

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CHICKEN ASPARAGUS SOUP

Prep Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 40 minutes (using the Instant Pot)

Ingredients:

• 2 lbs of asparagus spears, trimmed and chopped
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 celery stalks, chopped
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 1 large potato, scrubbed and chopped
• 5 boneless, skinless chicken halves (or substitute with another 2 potatoes if making a vegetarian version)
• 1 container (900mL) no salt added chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
• 1 cup of milk or cream (I use homo milk but any will do – higher the fat content=creamier soup)
• 1 tbsp dried parsley
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Add the broth, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, black pepper, and parsley to the Instant Pot.
  2. Place the chicken breast halves on top. Close the lid, ensuring the valve is sealed. Set the pot to “Soup” for 20 minutes.
  3. While the soup is cooking, trim and chop the asparagus spears.
  4. Once the soup is done, use the Quick Pressure Release and take the chicken out using tongs. Place on a plate.
  5. Mix the asparagus to the Instant Pot and close the lid, making sure the valve is sealed. Set the pot to “Soup” for 5 minutes.
  6. While the asparagus and soup are cooking, take 4 of the chicken breast halves. Using two forks or your fingers, pull apart the chicken so that they become strips.
    Note: If you want to leave the chicken as a finger food for baby, create the strips with the last chicken breast half as well and set aside.
  7. Once the soup is cooked, use the Quick Pressure Release and begin to pureé your soup in batches (you’ll need to put the pureéd soup in another bowl). Once pureéd, return all of the soup to the Instant Pot.
  8. Put 2 cups of the soup in the blender with baby’s chicken breast half. Blend until smooth for a younger baby (e.g., 6 months old) or leave small chicken bits for an older baby (e.g., 10 months old). Pour into a airtight container or reusable pouches. These are good for 3-4 days in the fridge. DO NOT FREEZE.
  9. Add the milk, salt, and chicken to the Instant Pot and stir until all of the ingredients are mixed well.
  10. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese. ENJOY!

 

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Add the broth, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, black pepper, and parsley to the slow cooker.
  2. Place the chicken breast halves on top. Close lid and set for 3 hours on High or 7 hours on Low. Set your timer.
  3. While the soup is cooking, trim and chop the asparagus spears. Cover and put in the fridge.
  4. Once the timer goes off, remove the chicken using tongs. Place on a plate.
  5. Mix the asparagus into the slow cooker soup and close the lid. Set the slow cooker back to either High or Low. Put your timer for 20 minutes if cooking on High or 40 minutes if cooking on Low.
  6. While the asparagus and soup are cooking, take 4 of the chicken breast halves. Using two forks or your fingers, pull apart the chicken so that they become strips.
    Note: If you want to leave the chicken as a finger food for baby, create the strips with the last chicken breast half as well and set aside.
  7. Once the soup is cooked, use a ladle and begin to pureé your soup in batches (you’ll need to put the pureéd soup in another bowl). Once pureéd, return all of the soup to the slow cooker, which should still be hot.
  8. Put 2 cups of the soup in the blender with baby’s chicken breast half. Blend until smooth for a younger baby (e.g., 6 months old) or leave small chicken bits for an older baby (e.g., 10 months old). Pour into a airtight container or reusable pouches. These are good for 3-4 days in the fridge. DO NOT FREEZE.
  9. Add the milk, salt, and chicken to the slow cooker and stir until all of the ingredients are mixed well.
  10. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle generously with parmesan cheese. ENJOY!

 

Did your family gobble up this savoury soup? Let me know in the comments below. Please take a pic of your asparagus soup and #notasupermommy or tag @notasupermommy on Instagram and check us out on Facebook too!

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