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Spring Vegetable Soup

This image courtesy of Chris Cassidy Photography Inc

Editor's Note: This spring, shine the spotlight on in-season produce in a big way with this recipe for Spring Vegetable Soup. This hearty and satisfying soup from Chicago's famed Green City Market includes carrots, asparagus, and so many more vegetables that are ready to pick and eat in spring. Is this your first time making soup from scratch? You won't need to stress when you make this recipe. This tasty soup can be ready to eat in just a little bit of time. You and your family will love eating produce in season with this soup recipe. 

The Market was the motivating force behind this lovely spring recipe because it is the perfect place to shop for ingredients that bring seasonality and healthfulness together. I like to serve the light yet hearty soup with toasted country bread from Bennison’s Bakery. — Sharon Olson, customer

Makes6 servings

Preparation Time25 min

Cooking Time20 min

Cooking MethodSauteeing

CostInexpensive

Easy

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Main Course

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureHerby, Light

Type of DishSoup, Vegetable

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces baby carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 8 ounces asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup thickly sliced (¼ inch) leeks, white to pale green parts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth (preferably organic)
  • 8 ounces pattypan squash or baby yellow squash, halved or cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas
  • ½ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as chives, tarragon, and parsley)
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Shaved hard cheese, such as Brunkow Cheese’s Little Darling or similar, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place a bowl of ice water next to the sink.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the baby carrots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add the asparagus during the last minute of cooking. Drain the vegetables and plunge them into the ice water bath to cool. Set aside.

  3. In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, until softened. Season the mixture with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper.

  4. Add the broth and squash to the skillet and raise the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

  5. Add the carrots, asparagus, and peas to the skillet. Continue to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes.

  6. Add the herbs and lemon zest to the skillet and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into the mixture until just melted. Remove from the heat. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste if needed.

  7. Transfer the soup to shallow bowls and serve hot, garnished with the shaved cheese.

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