Asparagus Soup with Turkey Dumplings: #18 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you go to Denmark and are searching for comfort food, you might just come across this creamy, warming soup. Bright green asparagus paired with tender veal or turkey meatballs, gently simmering away, ready to clear whatever cobwebs you’re stuck in with each delicious mouthful.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10.50 total)

1 tbsp butter – $0.16
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 bunch asparagus, chopped – $3.29
3 cups water – free
1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp sage – $0.28
1/2 tsp oregano – $0.14
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground turkey – $3.99
1 egg – $0.31
1 cup breadcrumbs – $0.25 (I took 2 leftover biscuits from the freezer and ground them up in the blender)
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped – $0.45
1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated – $1.00


1. In a large pan, melt the butter and cook the onions over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent, then add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick and burn.

When onions are just starting to brown, add the chopped asparagus stems, saving the tips aside for later. Also add in 1/2 tsp of sage, the oregano, salt, pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat down to medium-low to simmer for 30 minutes. This will make the asparagus very tender and ready to blend.

2. While that is cooking, prepare the turkey meatballs (can also use veal). Mix the turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp sage, cheese, chives, and garlic powder together in a medium bowl. Mash it all up with freshly washed hands, then form 10 medium sized meatballs and set aside.

When the asparagus is nice and soft, pour the soup into the blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pan or pot and drop in the meatballs. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. 

3. Stir in the asparagus tips and let them soften for 2-3 minutes. Serve with an optional squeeze of lemon or sprinkling of more cheese.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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