Sunday, April 22, 2012

My vegetable soup - late April edition

This weekend I decided to make my veggie soup again and change up the ingredients to match the season.  After some research on what is in season at the moment and based on what I saw in the grocery, I chose asparagus, artichokes, leeks, spinach, and fingerling potatoes with thyme, parsley and bay for the herbs.  When deciding on these ingredients, I realized that they are much more delicate than previous soups, so I needed to alter the cooking method as well.

I ended up not finding the baby artichokes that I wanted, so I went with frozen peas.  I love them and they really remind me of spring.  And the frozen ones have this great “pop” that the fresh ones don’t have.  Also, I kept the diced tomatoes in the recipe because I wanted tomatoes, but I drained them because I didn’t want the broth to be too tomatoey.

The recipe is below, but basically I sauteed the leeks and spinach, boiled the potatoes and asparagus (in mostly water because I wanted the soup to be lighter) and then added them all together.  After about 6 minutes I added the herbs and salts.  And finished with the peas and some lemon juice and lemon zest.  It came out super fresh and light and perfect for spring.  I still ended up cooking it too long - my potatoes were pretty mushy.  The recipe below is adjusted to what I think the time should be.

Late April Spring Vegetable Soup
Yield: 6-8

1 Tbsp Butter
2 Leekssliced
8 cups Water
2 cups Chicken Stock
1 bunch Asparagusdiced into 1 inch pieces
1.5 pounds Fingerling Potatoes
2 cups Spinach
1 can Diced Tomatoesdrain most of liquid
1 Tbsp Herbs De Provancedried
1 ½ Tbsp Thymefresh
2 Tbsp Parsleyfresh
3 Bay Leavesfresh
1 Tbsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper(I used white pepper)
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1 package Spring Peasfrozen
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice(about ½ a lemon)
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest(about ½ a lemon)
Olive Oil

Heat butter in sauté pan over med high heat.  Add the leeks and sauté until golden.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In large stock pot, add water and chicken stock.  Then add potatoes and bring to boil.  Once boiling, add asparagus and cook for about 5 mins. and then turn down to a simmer.

Meanwhile, reheat the leeks, add about ¾ of the spinach and sauté until just wilted.  Add all to soup, along with the rest of the spinach.

Add tomatoes and herbs and salts and pepper.  Cook for a few mins. - at this point, your potatoes should be just about right.

Turn off heat.  Add package of frozen peas.  Add juice and zest of ½ lemon.  Stir and let sit for about 5 minutes while the peas thaw.  Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and an extra squeeze of lemon.  Or refrigerate immediately to stop the cooking.

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