Sun Sentinel Broward Edition
Welcome spring with this satisfying vegetable soup
After this dreary winter, I find myself anticipating spring in all its glory. The sunny weather, the vibrant flowers and, of course, the abundance of vegetables that pop up this time of year. Needless to say, I’ve been longing for a clear soup studded with green spring veggies; and I’ve found one.
This soup is easy to put together and offers such rich flavor. The tasty tangle of spring asparagus, sugar snap peas, leeks and garlic shines, even if you cheat a little to save time and use good-quality petite peas. I often use frozen peas over fresh peas if I can’t acquire them fresh from the garden.
Spring green soup
Makes: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
For the soup:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek or 2 small leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and chopped 2 garlic cloves, sliced paper thin
2 cups 1-inch cut slender asparagus
1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed and cut in half horizontally
1 small new potato, julienned
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups rich chicken or vegetable stock 1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 cup frozen petite green peas, defrosted 2 tablespoons shredded basil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
There are many things you can do to personalize this soup. You can throw in some rice or orzo instead of the potato. Also, feel free to use any fresh herb you love such as mint, dill or basil. You can even make this a pure vegan soup if you use a rich vegetable stock rather than chicken stock.
Sometimes I will place some chopped-up soft cheese in the bowl and pour the soup right over it so it melts the cheese. Other times I’ll shave Parmesan cheese over the top and add a small dollop of basil pesto as a finishing garnish.
I like to serve this as a satisfying lunch dish. It is best made just before serving so the vegetables don’t overcook. Whatever you decide, this is a perfect welcome to the spring season.
1 teaspoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon shredded basil
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium soup pot on medium heat. Saute the leeks for about 4 minutes or until nicely softened. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Add the asparagus pieces, sugar snap peas and potato and cook for another 3 minutes, or until crisp tender. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the stock and miso paste and bring to a simmer for about 10 more minutes or until vegetables are just cooked through. Add the peas, basil and lemon zest and cook another minute or until the peas are just warmed through. Taste for seasoning.
3. To serve: Ladle the soup in shallow soup bowls and garnish with lemon zest and basil. Serve immediately.