We are smack dab in the middle of Spring… which means all the vibrant fresh spring produce is in full swing and showing up at the market. And yeah! The farmers markets are starting to open again for the season. Besides being extra tasty during the height of their season, produce is usually a bit cheaper when it’s in season. That’s a win/win!
This Spring Soup recipe showcases a bounty of fresh veggies at the height of their season. Spring favorites like asparagus, leeks, spinach and peas and teams up with year round favorites like baby red potatoes and cannellini beans. Fresh herbs (like thyme and basil) and a bit of Parmesan cheese make this a perfect light and healthy meal option. Oh! and all of that goodness it topped off with giant Parmesan croutons (oh ya baby! Soup needs croutons!)
Making these giant Parmesan croutons is super easy! Just slice a baguette, drizzle with a little olive oil, and a sprinkling of cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 min. and give them a generous dose of salt and pepper . You can pick them up and dip them in the soup so you get a little crunchy with the warm soup. Delish!
The beauty of this recipe is it’s completely adaptable! Not a fan of asparagus, no worries, just leave it out or replace with something you do.
Kids not likely to eat vegetable soup? but you don’t want to have to cook two separate things for dinner? No problem, just ladle out some soup for the kids after step 2 in the recipe below. Maybe add some bacon crumbles or cut up rotisserie chicken to up the kid appeal.
Any leftovers make a great lunch option for the following day!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
- ¼ fresh baguette, cut into ½-inch slices
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
- 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 large leek, trimmed and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups unsalted vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- ½ lb. small red potatoes, quartered (or bite size pieces if potatoes are bigger)
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 5-6 spears asparagus, sliced into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- ¼ cup torn fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray) add salt and pepper to taste. Lightly sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (reserve any unused cheese to top soup). Place on baking tray and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted (about 10 min.) . Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven oven medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add carrots, leek, and celery; cook for 5 min. stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and continue to simmer until potatoes start to soften (about 8- 10 min).
- Add peas, asparagus and cannellini beans. Simmer until asparagus is crisp tender (about 3-4 min). Add spinach, thyme, and basil and cook until spinach begins to wilt (about 1 min). Serve immediately and sprinkle with any remaining Parmesan cheese. Top with a Parmesan crouton and additional fresh thyme. Salt and pepper to taste. cheese, sprinkle on top of soup.
- recipe inspired by Cooking Light