Some days just call for soup.

If you’ve ever tried taking the subway in New York City on a Saturday morning, specifically if you’re attempting to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn, then you know what I mean.

The 4/5 isn’t running at all, which would normally be your direct route to what is quickly becoming your most frequented outer borough (since The.Boy. lives there).  The C/E is running on the F line, but only from some random stop in Queens to another random stop in Brooklyn, which is weird because the E doesn’t even GO to Brooklyn, so it stops running on the F line at W 4th street in Manhattan.  And all of a sudden you’re in some random subway station in the middle of the city, completely lost even though you’ve navigated the subway system for over a decade of your life, and some lady on the loudspeaker is telling you that if you want to go to Brooklyn, then you need to go backwards in order to go forwards.

Did I mention that you’re already late?  Awesome.


Not to mention that only crazy people ride the subways on Saturday mornings.  (“Case in point,” The.Boy. said, looking pointedly at me when I told him this.  According to him, all the sane people are still sleeping.  To which I replied, “Sleep?  PSHHH.  I don’t do that.”)

But seriously, I spotted at least three different kind of psychoses and four different personality disorders.  And I’m sure that if I remembered anything at all from my med school days, those numbers would have increased.  Ten-fold.


Eventually, my cookies did make it to NYC’s National Food Blogger Bake Sale (to which you can still donate/purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win some awesome prizes!) and I did make it to The.Boy.’s apartment where I exercised my girlfriendly right to distract him from studying for his finals/regrouped enough to be able to even fathom embarking on another Saturday subway adventure.


But you can see why a big bowl of hot steaming comfort was necessary, right?  Especially when that comfort involve pureed white beans and potatoes, parmesan cheese, and roasted asparagus.  It’s the kind of soup that’s not life-changing or mountain-moving.  But just good.  In a reliable kind of way.  And after a morning of absurd Saturday subway antics…reliable really is just what you need.

This soup is what’s on this week’s menu for The Food Matters Project!  To check out other interpretations or to see the original recipe (I changed it slightly, omitting the wine and adding in half a head of cauliflower) click here!


Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup 
Serves 4-5, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, about 1 1/2 lb, ends removed
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight and boiled until tender
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, water, or bean cooking liquid (or any combination of the three)
  • 2 oz grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450.  Arrange asparagus on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast for 10-15 minutes or until tender.  Set aside.
  2. In the meantime, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and saute until tender, 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add in the garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  3. Stir the potatoes, cauliflower, cooked white beans and vegetable broth in to the pot.  Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil, then lower it to a simmer, just so that the mixture remains bubbling even when partially covered.  Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
  4. Puree soup with an immersion blender.  Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  5. Chop the asparagus and add it to the soup.
  6. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

I am submitting this to Souper Sundays, which is hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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87 Responses to Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup {the food matters project}

  1. Early weekend subway rides are always interesting, though I do love early mornings in the city when no one else is really around! This soup is so perfect for spring!

  2. Simply Life says:

    haha, love this story! soup is basically always necessary in m life 🙂

  3. This looks heavenly, Joanne. So nourishing and comforting. I would love it.

  4. The soup looks fabulous. There ain’t many green asparagus over here, but white/purple asparagus everywhere. I am going to make one soon!

  5. Blond Duck says:

    I’m obsessed with asparagus right now!

  6. This soup looks very good. I love your leek photo, too – very pretty.

  7. This post cracked me up! I was visiting friends in NYC this past weekend and the subway is so confusing to me! I just don’t visit often enough to take the time to understand it… Asparagus is quite possibly my fav spring veggie, and this soup is such a great way to highlight it!!!

  8. Sam says:

    1) Subway Weekender ( –not the cheap imitation the MTA has developed) is a outer-borough dweller’s (or frequent visitor’s)best friend.

    2)While that soup looks absolutely delicious, the big question is what did you EAT at the Flea or in my neighborhood? We eat there every Saturday when it’s outside. The grilled cheese and the pizza people know us by name…Yeah. We’re that cool.

    3)Can you believe with that giant table of cookies D could not find one thing that he wanted to buy? Nothing met his cookie standards!

  9. Casey says:

    Cauliflower is a great addition. I used tomatoes in mine and it added flavor.

  10. london bakes says:

    This is such a great soup with some of my very favourite ingredients!

  11. bellini says:

    What really matters is that we get up at all considering our impending trip on the subway on a Saturday when we should be sleeping in:D As for the soup, it seems healthy and comforting on a day like today.

  12. I started biking because it was faster than the subway… any time of day! Compared to the car, it is definitely true from our new home. I feel your pain, though! But with a soup like this, you could have powered yourself by running!! 🙂

  13. We love asparagus and this looks like such a great soup!!

  14. I adore white beans in soup! They make everything thicker and heartier — asparagus is a great addition!

  15. Marcia says:

    I should buy some asparagus. I keep waiting to get some from the CSA. No luck lately.

  16. Jeanette says:

    I love creamy white bean soup and the addition roasted asparagus is right up my alley.

  17. This soup looks amazing! I plan on making this one day this week!. I just need some potatos and cauliflower! I’ve been to Grand Central Station once, I arrived in the station, hopped on the A train to Canal Street, got off, bought purses, couldn’t carry anymore, hopped back on train to New Jersey. That was my only visit ever to NY City. So sad isn’t it?

  18. Lynn says:

    I got distracted by the s’mores cupcakes on my scroll down the page to the comment box. 🙂 The soup looks yummy, too.

  19. Shannon says:

    i kind of like being up in a city before anyone else 🙂 and if this soup helps, i’m all for it, too!

  20. Amy says:

    I’m paranoid going over bridges, in elevators, through tunnels, and on subways. Ya. I’m one of *those* people. It’s that whole fear of death thing. Cell/Smart phones were invented for people who are running late! And you know how I feel about white beans and asparagus…if it weren’t 90 degrees here right now, I’d make it today.

  21. What a delicious way to pair asparagus with soup. Both look absolutely mouthwatering! Lovely recipe, Joanne.

  22. Sadly, your description just makes me miss New York! But I’m a New Yorker, and everyone knows we’re all narcissists. This soup looks just incredible. I really love all the flavors!

  23. Soup looks great, even better after trying to navigate the subway. Comfort food is a good thing after that. Got lost once taking trains, now I drive in. I’d rather deal with the craziness of the buses and taxi’s, LOL!

  24. Sarah says:

    Your photos of this soup are just lovely! It was definitely great comfort food. I have only taken the Subway in New York a few times in my life, but I have to say I am super jealous of the express trains. I’m a DC girl & there is just no such thing on the Metro haha.

  25. Lora says:

    So great you contributed to the Food Bloggers Bake Sale. I just couldn’t swing it this month. Crazy busy. I love this soup!

  26. Sarah says:

    this sounds awesome. my husband was born on long island but hasn’t been back since & i’ve never been to NYC, so even with your subway adventures i so want to go!

  27. Mmm I love pureed soups and all the flavors you used here!

  28. There are always days for soup, even in the heat of summer. Just crank down that A/C when you need comfort in a bowl!

  29. Deborah says:

    I don’t know how you navigate the subway system!! We have a trax line, but there is only a north/south line and an east/west line, so it’s pretty hard to get lost! 🙂 This soup sounds awesome – the perfect way to end a crazy day!

  30. Margarita says:

    I wish I did the pureeing thing and I wish I followed directions… but I didn’t have all the required ingredients. Your soup looks classic and delicious! Also, sometimes I wish I live in NY but it’s stories like this that makes me kinda glad I don’t. Bet everyone there is used to it though…

  31. JoJo says:

    I love the close up photo of the sliced part of the asparagus!!! It looks so pretty.
    I almost never puree bean soups, but I should. This looks amazing!!

  32. Oh, I hear ya. When I was at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the classes were on the weekend in NYC and it was just stupid trying to take the subway in the morning! I started getting hotels within walking distance instead.

  33. Western Mass Asparagus is the best, hands-down. But I’m sure this asparagus was mighty tasty.

    It’s probably my favorite veggie 🙂

  34. Barbara says:

    We love roasted asparagus and eat it a couple times a week! This soup looks marvelous. I watched Ina Garten make something similar and she pureed half the beans, but left the rest whole. Really liked the idea of the texture and am going to try that.

  35. Faith says:

    I’m a year-round soup girl and this is beautiful! Your asparagus is so pretty it makes me want to run out to the market now!

  36. Jenna says:

    Wow, public transit sounds like a hot mess in NYC. I’m sure it’s great and all . . . but I love the simplicity of Chicago’s system. =) Though I do see plenty of crazy on both the El and bus at any time of day or night.

  37. sandra says:

    Yes, you’re leak photo is beautiful. And your rendition of any subway travel in NYC on a weekend is spot on. My line (L) often doesn’t run at all on the weekends leaving me stranded and necessitating my ability to make the most of my neighborhood (I live in Brooklyn).

  38. Eileen says:

    I definitely hear you on the train issues–we used to live on the G line in Clinton Hill. On the other hand, at least a reasonable public trans system exists in NYC! Regardless, roasted asparagus and creamy beans definitely sound like a great way to wind down from train trauma. 🙂

  39. Juliana says:

    Joanne, your bean soup looks very tasty…like the idea of leek and asparagus…I love the creaminess of the soup.
    Thanks for this tasty recipe and hope you have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

  40. oh wow are u using a macro lense Joanne, cause I didnt know aspasgus was so pretty. Aspargus rocks and I am looking forward to your lovely soup recipe!

  41. Seems like in the 20 odd years since I’ve been in New York Some things have not changed!

  42. Katerina says:

    This soup would be such a comforting dish after a long day such as the one you had! Looks absolutely appetizing!

  43. is there anything better than comfort food? uhhhhhh nope.

    xo alison

  44. Natalie says:

    I was so excited to see this after I saw your tweet about it, and you did not disappoint! This sounds so comforting but I love that it’s still healthy!

  45. Cathleen says:

    Oh my goodness. Asparagus makes me smile. This makes me smile. I’ve got to buy some pronto

  46. Guru Uru says:

    What a beautifully constructed soup – I love asparagus in anything 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  47. I love the weekends morning… It feels fun to be on the road with absolutely no one around…
    Beautiful soup..
    I am on asparagus rush these days.. Love them!!
    This recipe is on my make list now…

  48. Christine says:

    This looks soooo good! I like all the versions of this recipe. Will try your way first and hopefully make it in the coming week (as long as temps stay below 85F). Yum!

  49. Kim says:

    After driving around rural KY for almost ten years I would probably be close to tears if I tried to navigate the NYC subway.

    I really like that you added half a head of cauliflower into the soup. I think it was a pretty insightful addition! Looks delicious to me.

  50. I think most days call for soup. 😉 This looks creamy and delicious. I love your changes. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. 😉

  51. I used to get annoyed with the crazy people in the subway when I lived in NYC, but now I miss it almost! Boston subway riders are boring in comparison.

    Also, great call on adding cauliflower to the soup. Looks delicious!

  52. I just woke up to a chilly Australian morning and your soup looks perfect for lunch!

  53. Raina says:

    It has been so cold in the Boston area that I could really use a bowl of this wonderful looking soup. It looks amazing. I have not been in the subway in a long time, definitely don’t miss it. It would be worth the trip if I had this soup waiting on the other end, though:)

  54. daphne says:

    It’s getting cold here and that means soupaseason! Love the idea- leeks and asparagus.. YUMO!

  55. Wow, I’m impressed you and your man are making it work, being locationally incompatible 😉 One of my rules when dating was that the guy couldn’t live on the lower west side when I was on the upper east side…2 subway rides is a lot! But at least brooklyn is a cool place to go hang out, hehe. This soup sounds so yummy for this coldish spring weather!

  56. Jay says:

    that looks sooooooooper good…fantastic cliks
    Tasty Appetite

  57. elly says:

    This soup looks absolutely awesome. The texture looks perfect, and I will eat pretty much anything that has white beans and asparagus. Yum.

  58. Erica says:

    The soup sounds amazing! I love the combination of the leeks with asparagus!

  59. I’ve only experience the NYC subway many, MANY years ago. I got lost with my Swiss friend, who just HAD to check out the Cotton Club. Swell. We never got there, but did find some friendly locals who helped us find our way back to The Plaza Hotel. I admire you for navigating the underground. I’m a soup kinda gal. Make ’em all the time. This one looks like perfection to me, and I’d definitely want the wine in mine. With a glass to wash it down. Nice.

  60. Dining Alone says:

    I have never been on the subway in NYC but your story makes me want to go out and hug my car 🙂 I am in a leek mood lately, I think I am making your leek and cabbage gratin this week!

  61. Hannah says:

    Man, you said it! I had no idea the trains were so messed up, until was fighting it out with the rest of them on Saturday evening. 😉 Maybe it was a little bit calmer than the morning rush, but yikes, not a fun ride. Still, I’d happily go through all that again for some of this soup. It looks tasty enough to be worth any hassle.

  62. Ok… I guess I should start by saying that I have taken the subway on a Saturday morning and, where I was coming from, it wasn’t bad. However… I have taken the train on a Friday or Saturday night when the local turns into an express. That. Is. Not. Fun.

    But what is fun is this soup, which I know i would enjoy immensely.

  63. Pam says:

    I was stressed just reading about the different subway stops… I don’t think I could make it in NY.

    The soup would totally make me happy. Everything is better with roasted asparagus. YUM!

  64. Is it weird that I lived in NY for 12 years of my life and never have taken the subway? I’m kind of glad I didn’t because witnessing psychos and personality disorders at 10 years old would be quite traumatizing.

    Anyway, let’s talk about something more pleasant. This white bean soup looks amazing, and seriously, I don’t even like white beans. You always inspire me to jump out of my comfort zone and try new things! 🙂

  65. This soup looks wonderful! I recently made a carrot soup using pureed white beans to give it a cream texture. I love how beans add such great flavor and smoothness to soups. This recipe looks wonderful–I especially like your addition of potatoes.

  66. Laura says:

    This soup looks perfectly comforting, hearty and delicious. I’m going to call you the Soup Queen 🙂

  67. Mary says:

    Your soup looks warm and comforting. I’d view Saturday’s on the subway as the type of learning experience that guarantees autos will be part of American life for decades to come. The trip is for a good cause though :-). Have a nice evening. Blessings…Mary

  68. Yup, I can see how this can set any day straight. Who says comfort has to come in the form of sugar and chocolate? This has comfort written all over it.

  69. There are always crazies on the subway on the weekends for sure! A cup of this soup sounds like a good antecdote for sure 🙂

  70. Hotly Spiced says:

    My son lived in Brooklyn last year and was always on the subway. He was training at Stella Adler School of Acting in New York so we organised accommodation for him in Brooklyn. He became very used to the subways and loved them – so much better than here! But he did find it hot in the summer. Couldn’t believe how hot and sticky it gets and crowded and how there’s no escape unless you actually get out of the city. Your white bean soup looks delicious Joanne xx

  71. Whoa, NY sounds bonkers. I totally get why you need some soup!…or cake. Cake would be good too.

  72. Johanna GGG says:

    Is there any recipe (savoury) that half a head of caul wouldn’t improve! Glad you got there and got back and had a big bowl of comfort at the end – sounds delicious

  73. kelsey says:

    YUM! This looks divine!

  74. That Girl says:

    It’s been so cold and rainy here, soup is perfect!

  75. This is perfect for the chilly, damp evenings we’ve been having. Soup is just good for your soul I think. 🙂

  76. Evi says:

    Yours looks very similar to mine. I like a mix of pureed and chunky soup (so not too much of either), so I always take 1/2 the soup and make it creamy. Great way to never have to use cream! Yum.

  77. Reeni says:

    Any day is a good soup day in my book! This looks super creamy and delicious! I need more asparagus in my life. The subway sounds scary – if I were on it you could diagnose a panic attack!

  78. Carolyn Jung says:

    Roasting asparagus is my fave way to prepare them. The high heat gives them such brilliant sweet caramelization. It’s like asparagus candy. 😉

  79. vianney says:

    not sure what makes me happier the bowl of goodness or The Boy, yay for boyfriend!

  80. sally says:

    Yum! I’ve got to get myself some asparagus.

  81. Candace says:

    I am loving your photos. The asparagus is so beautiful. This soup is divine. I’m sure of it.

  82. Kevin says:

    Nice soup! I always enjoy using pureed beans in soups as they make them nice and creamy without the need for the heavy cream.

  83. hy, What you wrote was very nice, and really helped me, thanks for sharing

  84. Gorgeous gorgeous soup! Asparagus is one of my fave veg!

  85. […] 26 Joanne eats well with others | Roasted Asparagus and White Bean Soup […]

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