spring vegetable minestrone
Ok, I wasn’t really planning to post this one. But it turned out so amazingly delicious I decided to at least snap a final photo and pop it on here! :)
Don’t be at all scared by the long list of ingredients. This soup — like all minestrone soups — is so much more about the method than the specifics. So feel free to just toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand. Since it’s Spring, I happened to have some fresh spinach, asparagus, and snow peas in the fridge waiting to be used. (Along with the carrots, celery and onion that I recommend always having on hand!) But really, you can toss in whatever veggies you like!
I think my favorite part about this soup, though, actually turned out to be the broth. The combination of the white wine, garlic, and herbs, plus all of the produce, just resulted in a completely fresh and super flavorful base for the soup. And all in just about 30 minutes!
So if you’re looking for a light, delicious, vegetarian idea for a meal this Spring, this is the soup for you!!
Spring Vegetable Minestrone
(Adapted from Vegetarian Times)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 large shallots (or 1 large onion), finely diced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 1/2 cups diced potato (Yukon gold, red, Russett, etc.)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 12 Italian parsley sprigs
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs (or 2 tsp. dried thyme)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup snow peas, stems trimmed and cut into 1/8″-wide slices
- half a bunch (1/2 lb.) asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
- 3 cups lightly packed spinach leaves
- minced fresh tarragon
- parmesan cheese
- a slice of Italian bread or fresh-baked croutons
Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots (or onion), and saute 2 minutes, or until shallots begin to soften. Add wine, garlic and cayenne. Simmer 4 minutes.
Add carrots, potato and celery, and saute 1 minute. Add broth and 4 cups of water. Tie together parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves with kitchen twine, and add to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes.
Stir in snow peas, asparagus and spinach. Cover, and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove herb bundle, and discard. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, add garnish(es) if desired, and serve.
The original recipe called for adding turnips, which would probably be quite nice. Other “spring-y” additions (or substitutions) you could use in the soup might be:
- leeks or green onions
- other spring leafy greens
- any sort of small pasta, instead of potatoes