Mashed potato flakes make an almost instant cream soup with good potato flavor. If you have fresh dill on hand, you can use as much as ¼ cup chopped in place of the dried dillweed.


2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 cups fat-free milk

1 package (10 ounces) frozen asparagus spears, thawed and cut into 2-inch lengths


1. In a large nonstick saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 7 minutes.

2. Stir in the potato flakes, dillweed, salt, pepper, and milk, stirring until smooth.

3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus are tender, about 4 minutes. Makes 4 servings

Mushroom-Potato Soup Substitute tarragon for the dill. Substitute 10 ounces of sliced cremini mushrooms for the asparagus, and cook them as directed in step 3.

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 135
total fat 2.8g
saturated fat 0.6g
cholesterol 4mg
dietary fiber 2g
carbohydrate 19g
protein 9g
sodium 545mg

Good source of: calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc


For a modest number of calories and fat grams, this apparently unassuming soup has a wealth of healthful nutrients. The bulk of the B vitamins, including the folate, come from the asparagus, but the onions and potatoes make a contribution as well. The minerals—calcium, magnesium, potassium, and selenium—come primarily from the milk, with the potatoes and asparagus helping out. But, clearly, the asparagus is the nutritional star here.

Many of the recipes in this book contain off-the-shelf foods to help keep recipe prep effort to a minimum – a benefit for your arthritic hands. However, some foods – like canned beans – can hike up sodium levels. If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Arthritis Health, edited by John A. Flynn, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 31 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 06 Apr 2015