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Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Soup

Spring flavors are combined in this light but flavorful soup. Hearty enough to fill you up for dinner but light enough for warmer weather.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Holly


  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ onion , diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoon lemon extract , divided (see instructions and recipe notes)
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de provence
  • 1 head cauliflower , roughly chopped
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch asparagus , chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper , to taste


  • In medium saucepan, bring water and barley to a boil. Cover and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until barley is tender. Set aside. (see note 1)
  • In a large stock pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onion is translucent and garlic is aromatic. Add chopped cauliflower, 1 teaspoon lemon extract (see note 2), and herbes de provence and saute for a minute or two.
  • Add in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. In the last 7-10 minutes of simmering add the chopped asparagus. Use a steaming basket to drop into the soup and keep the asparagus separate. Once the asparagus is cooked through, pull it out and set it aside.
  • Add barley (saving some for topping/garnish if you'd like), remaining 1 teaspoon of lemon extract, salt, and pepper to cauliflower broth. Using either an immersion blender or in batches with a high-speed blender, blend until creamy and smooth. Once it's as smooth as you'd like, stir in asparagus and serve.


1. You can make barley up to 3 days in advance for this recipe. It can also be cooked quickly in a pressure cooker.
2. Instead of lemon extract, feel free to use 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, adding one Tablespoon with the cauliflower and another when you blend everything together.