This hearty, bright-tasting soup is the perfect way to soak up the last days of the season and show off your Farmstand haul of locally grown asparagus, spinach, scallions, potatoes, garlic, and more. Try it once as is, then feel free to tinker with different types of potatoes or other veggies. Garlic scapes or spring garlic can be swapped in for the garlic cloves, sugar snap peas can be swapped in for the green peas, and diced carrots would add a welcome note of sweetness.
Spring Minestrone (adapted from Beatrice Ojakangas’ The Soup and Bread Cookbook)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch (5 or 6) scallions or spring onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen or fresh green peas
- 1 bunch (about ½ pound) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 loosely packed cups chopped baby spinach or watercress
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup pesto
- Freshly grated aged cow or sheep’s milk cheese (such as Hidden Hills’ Old Gold, Doe Run’s St. Malachi, or Meadowset’s The Last Straw)
Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the scallions and garlic and sauté them for 3 to 5 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and the scallions have softened. Add the potatoes, artichokes, tomatoes, and broth, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender.
Remove the lid from the pot and stir in the chickpeas, green peas, asparagus, and spinach. Cook the soup for about 5 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the asparagus is crisp-tender and everything is heated through. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Divide the soup among individual bowls and top each serving with a tablespoon of pesto and some freshly grated cheese.