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Posts Tagged ‘great spring soups’

 

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I hope you feel as excited about spring as I do! Spring happily colors everything at the moment, here where I live. The wild grass on the rolling hills, typically already turning pale green or even gold, remains vibrantly green due to our El Nino winter. The particularly vivid green of new leaf growth decorates nearly every variety of tree around my town. And in case you forgot, green remains my favorite color!

For me, green represents fresh starts, new beginnings, life (think new young shoots of plants) and health (dark leafy greens and fresh lettuces). I’ve been doing some major purging around my home, which had become so cluttered it was affecting my creativity, my thoughts and my outlook. There has to be at least 10 years worth of stuff I need to sort through, most of which should be thrown out or donated–basically everything since the birth of my first child. I’m incredibly sentimental, so I naturally hoard stuff, but let’s be honest… I don’t need to keep every single drawing and finger painting my kids ever made, right?? And if I haven’t needed that Nordstrom receipt in four years, it’s doubtful I’m going to need it now or ever.

I still have a long ways to go, but my progress has made a big difference. I feel lighter, and my home looks much larger and more spacious.

So in honor of green, what better dish to make than fresh pea soup?! It speaks perfectly to spring and beckons summer.

The CSA I belong to offered 2lb bags of fresh peas last week, so I put them to good use. I hope you like this recipe as much as I do. You can easily alter it to be completely vegan by using olive oil instead of butter or ghee, using only vegetable stock and using coconut cream in place of creme fraîche. However, I love bone broths, and find chicken stock adds a greater richness to this soup. I served the soup alongside gluten-free crepes stuffed with sauteed scallions and smoked salmon.

 

peasoup2peasoup8

Ingredients

1 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee

1 tbsp olive oil

Half a medium onion, chopped

2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, divided

3 cups fresh shelled peas (from about 2 1/2-3 lbs of pods)

1/8 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/8 cup fresh mint leaves

Sea salt

Fresh-ground pepper

2 tbsp crème fraîche or coconut cream

1/4 cup coconut milk

2-3 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped (for garnish)

 

Preparation

Melt butter and oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onion, sprinkle with a little salt and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of broth and bring to a boil. Add the peas, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender, roughly 5 minutes.

Remove pot from heat. Add parsley, mint, coconut milk, and remaining cup of broth to pot. Purée soup in a high-speed blender or with a quality immersion blender until perfectly smooth, thinning with a little water if the soup is too thick. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Whisk the crème fraîche or coconut cream in a small bowl until it’s more liquid.

Divide soup among four bowls, with a swirl of creme fraîche or coconut cream and a sprinkling chives.

This soup can be served warm or slightly chilled.

 

Enjoy!

 

peasoup7

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c soup aboveCelery root happens to be one of those often forgotten vegetables that’s really quite delicious–just rarely on our minds. Celery roots are also rather ugly, hence, you’ll notice there’s no photograph of one here. (I tried!) But they also offer good amounts of potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6.

This odd-looking vegetable makes a delicious, thick and creamy soup, so I thought I’d share a recipe I like.

 

c soup eatIngredients

1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced and washed carefully

1 to 1 1/2 lbs celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

6 oz Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp sea salt

fresh-ground pepper

1 cup water

1 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth (preferably homemade)

1/4 cup coconut milk (or almond or cows milk)

 

Preparation (30 minutes)

Heat 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add in the leeks and let them “sweat,” stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes until they become soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Add in the chunks of celery root, potato and apple along with the water and stock. Stir in the salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Bring to a low boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the celery root and potato are tender when pierced with a knife or fork.

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Puree the contents of the pan in a Vitamix or other high-speed blender until very creamy (or to your liking). Return to pan. Stir in milk of choice. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil. (Truffle oil would work well here, too!)

Enjoy!

c soup leeks

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