Soup can be sexy! Maybe not the eating it part; but choosing fresh veggies from the garden or market and singing as you chop ’em up and gently stir them into a saucepan feels fabulous! Adding scent-filled thyme and basil to the saucepan at the 11th hour – 44th minute in this case – and topping the final product with shaved Parmesan, if you’re into that sort of thing, can be terrifically elegant. Maybe it’s just Norah Jones making it so peaceful and fun, but hey, it’s been cloudy here for-freaking-ever, and I’ll take it 🙂
“Mmm” also signifies a pretty wonderful feeling, and we all know that “mmm” is a common response to a good bowl of soup. Are you hungry yet? Ok good, me too 🙂
My favorite farm stand up the road opened May 30th (cue the dancing!) and our little radish sprouts just started to peek up out of the soil in our backyard gardens. The thyme I planted in the ground last year made it through the winter impressively well, and its neighboring sage plant not only survived, but thrived and reproduced! Have you had the chance to cut your own veggies or herbs to cook with? If you haven’t, don’t take my word for it – it’s easy to grow herbs, especially, and I just bought our newest addition from Whole Foods, in the form of a giant, healthy basil plant – there’s something magical about connecting with nature in that way. Oh and it’s DELICIOUS.
So whether you’re a full-blown farmer in the boonies – in which case, I’m in AWE and so jealous – or you walk through the city to the market, you gotta try this soup. I had fun making it, hubby and I loved our first and second helpings of it, and even Charlie-pup supervised the cooking very closely (here’s my Instagram for more behind the scenes)!
“Wait a second, Eliza, it’s a WEEKNIGHT! You spent 45 minutes cooking?” Well, no – I’m a little lazy on the weeknights! I love think-ahead cooking and knew, earlier this week, that soup was in our future. So when I made a cheesy, greens-packed pesto pasta on Tuesday, I saved some bow-tie pasta and peas in a Pyrex – and when I cooked this Spring Vegetable Soup, I pulled the peas and pasta out of the fridge and was good to go on those two ingredients. Well ok, pasta isn’t technically an ingredient in the original Cooking Light recipe, but I believe pasta is welcome in pretty much any recipe 🙂
And as usual, Grandma’s wisdom applies here: kitchen it up! If you have sweet potatoes, and you want ’em in the soup, well, PUT ‘EM IN THE SOUP! 🙂 The concept of kitchening a recipe simply means being resourceful with what you have! Waste not, want not, and all that – plus lazy-girl cooking dictates opening the fridge and saying “hmm” as I peruse the contents for potential soup ingredients. Now, successful soup using the lazy-girl method depends on how successfully I’ve planned earlier that week. Make it easy on yourself, and have a little fun doing it 🙂
The same think-ahead concept goes for the leeks, celery, carrots, etc. especially if you make the Veggie-Packed Bolognese around the same time! When you chop veggies for one recipe, think ahead to see what else you want to cook that week, and chop a little more to save in an extra container. Nerd alert: It’s SO satisfying to pull veggies you’ve already chopped out of the fridge, especially when it saves time in a recipe! #suburbanwin anybody?
Another great way to look at cooking is the sensuality of it – we talked about sexy soup in the beginning of this post, but in all seriousness, it’s a great time of year to gather in the kitchen. Whether it’s you and Norah Jones, you and your partner or spouse, or friends or family join you to cook, this beautiful Spring Vegetable Soup includes potatoes, leeks, carrots and celery to chop, beans to rinse, asparagus to slice, basil to tear…you get the picture 🙂 There are plenty of tasks to go around, and this soup is easy enough to shift slightly to become vegetarian or vegan (sub veggie stock for the chicken stock, and eliminate the cheese on top) so it’s flexible for our veggie-loving guests 🙂
One thing to note – I do have affiliate links on my blog (duh, E), but Cooking Light is not an affiliate YET! Meaning I am posting yet another Cooking Light recipe simply because we cook a lot of recipes from the magazine, and I want to share the wealth 🙂 For more information on affiliate programs, click here. The short version of the story is that I can get paid if you shop through them, and you don’t pay anything extra.
So grab some tunes, put on your dancing feet – no need for shoes in the kitchen, right?! – and get cooking! Soon enough, your home will be filled with the scents of simmering vegetables and herbs, fresh with the season of SPRING!! Ahh 🙂
Spring Vegetable Soup
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: About 20 minutes
2. Add peas, asparagus, and beans; simmer 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add spinach, thyme, and basil; cook 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls; top evenly with cheese.
Bon appetit – and happy dancing!! Let me know if you try it, or how you “kitchen” it based on what’s in your fridge 🙂
A Happy Wife