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French Spring Soup

Beautiful spring vegetables highlight this savory French Spring Soup!

French Spring Soup in a bowl

Spring is merely a week away and all I have to say is this:

Hello, Spring [muah]!

Aside from the obvious weather reasons, I have another agenda for my Spring jonesing: vegetables.

Green vegetables. Asparagus, peas, bok choy, chard, spinach, arugula, scallions, ramps. Yyyes!

Now, I like winter root vegetables as much as the next vegetable-obsessive, but by January — and certainly by February’s end — you’re just not going to see much in the way of root vegetables here on SoupAddict. And if you do, they’re no doubt in a soup. With other stuff.

And probably topped with cheese.

French Spring Soup

But Spring vegetables are a true love, and they provide a welcoming appetizer to the addicting delights of summer produce — tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, herbs.

April through October = happy food times for SoupAddict.

Not all Spring vegetables are green, of course (hello, neon pink radishes!), but one and all, they’re bright and beautiful with not a lick of desert colors in sight.

(No slight to the folks who live in the desert, as it definitely has its own form of immense, stark beauty … but I did the drive from Vegas to the Grand Canyon to Zion National Park in Utah. Once. Just once. And if I never see endless miles and miles … hours … days … of dirt dotted sparsely with odd little bushes again in my life, I’ll be A-okey-dokey-kay with that. The Vermilion Cliffs were beautiful but. they. weren’t. enough. The Grand Canyon was absolutely worth it, but next time I’ll fly in closer.

And actually, truth be told, it wasn’t so much the landscape as the wire fence that runs the length of the 89. It made me anxious and depressed, the mental picture I had of the folks whose job it was to stretch out and stake that simple fence, looking up from their back-breaking work now and then, down the road ahead. And seeing no end in sight.)

Wait, where was I? Oh, yeah … green. Green green green.

French Spring Soup 3

Spring crops will be early this year. The farmers I follow on Facebook are already seeing harvests from their high tunnel installations.

Several local farmers’ markets are opening a full month earlier than last year. And I’ve already prepped my Spring beds for seeding, something I don’t normally do until well into April.

French Spring Soup

This soup turned out to be a delightful surprise — not your typical vegetable soup at all, it has a bright quality — a certain flavor snap — absent from the standard fare. Quinoa contributes healthy proteins, texture and bite; coconut milk adds a touch of a richness without cream-heaviness. It’s even better the next day.

Karen xo

French Spring Soup
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French Spring Soup

Spring vegetables shine in this savory soup.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: spring soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 305kcal
Author: Karen Gibson

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 baby leeks or 1 medium leek thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
  • 1 small carrot thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 2 small yukon gold potatoes peeled and diced
  • 1 baby bok choy Shanghai bok choy, thinly sliced, including leaves
  • 3 radishes very thinly sliced
  • 8 to 10 asparagus spears tender parts only, cut into 1? pieces
  • 12 sugar snap peas string and ends removed, cut into 1/2? pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce optional for vegetarian/vegan
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • splash of sherry or vegan sherry
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • handful of spinach leaves stems removed, sliced chiffonade
  • small croutons prepared or homemade
  • cilantro chopped, for garnish (optional)
  • sea salt

Instructions

  • Heat butter or oil in a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium until shimmering. Add the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, peppers and mushrooms, stirring to coat in the oil. Saute until the mushrooms have started giving off their liquid, about 10 minutes.
  • Toss in a pinch of salt and add the potatoes, bok choy, radishes, asparagus, and sugar snap peas to the pot. Stir well and cook until the green vegetables are bright green but still crisp.
  • Add a bit of the vegetable broth — just to cover the vegetables — and add the fish sauce, bay leaves and thyme. Turn heat to medium-high. Add the remaining broth. When the broth comes to a gentle boil, add the quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the cover and check the quinoa for doneness: the quinoa should be giving off tiny little rings (this is the germ separating from the kernel). No rings? Give it another 5 minutes and check again.
  • When the quinoa is cooked, reduce heat to low and add the sherry, coconut milk and spinach, and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
  • Create a single layer of croutons in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle soup on top, and garnish with cilantro, if using.

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.

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Recipe Rating




Confessions of a Culinary Diva

Monday 19th of March 2012

This sounds wonderful! I love all of the fresh spring vegetables.....can't wait to try this!

Sprigs of Rosemary

Thursday 15th of March 2012

Your photographs are simply outstanding . . . making me want to rush and buy all these veggies. I have to write a little article about spring vegetables, and I was just going to focus on asparagus. Thanks for reminding me there's so much more! muah!

Rocky Mountain Woman

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

I've been on a spring soup binge..this one is definitely going on the list!

yummychunklet

Wednesday 14th of March 2012

Delicious looking soup and photos!

Cara

Tuesday 13th of March 2012

I know I should be commenting on that soup {which sounds delicious, by the way} but I cannot overlook that salt and pepper shaker! Karen, that is the freaking cutest thing ever. I must have it. Where did you get it???

SoupAddict

Tuesday 13th of March 2012

Pier 1 ... but it was over the winter, on close out. Been holding on to it for months, just waiting for spring. :)