“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” - Harriet Ann Jacobs
We are getting some good Spring weather at the moment and it’s a pleasure to see all the wonderful, fresh, Spring vegetables at the greengrocers. It’s a perfect time to make this soup!
Spring Vegetable Soup
Ingredients for Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, white parts and heart, sliced thinly
2 Spring onions, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
10 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 cup white cannellini beans (boiled until almost cooked)
2 tomatoes, peeled and grated
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 bunch of asparagus spears, use only the tender tops, snapped off and chopped
4 artichoke hearts (with leaves and choke removed), chopped
For the Basil pesto
1 and 1/2 cup torn basil leaves
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaped tablespoon pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Method for the soup
In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add leek, Spring onion, carrot, salt and pepper and stir frequently until softened - 5-7 minutes.
Add tomato paste and garlic, stirring for one minute until paste is well mixed with other ingredients.
Add the stock, beans, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to medium high and cook for 10 minutes, keeping it at a low boil.
Add the tomatoes, asparagus, artichokes and zucchini. Cook until tender - approximately 10 minutes.
Serve immediately with the pesto on the side, to be added as desired.
For the Pesto
Combine basil and pine nuts in food processor, pulsing a few times to mix well.
Add garlic and cheese, pulsing a few more times. Slowly drizzle the olive oil in while continuing to pulse until it forms the proper consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
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