Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Vegetable Soup

It's Saturday, it's sunny, and the snow has melted away.  Dare I say it, I think winter has finally - FINALLY - released us from her cruel, icy grip.  While the majority of items in my weekly CSA share are still root vegetables, I thought I'd be slightly less locavore and spring (hah! a seasonal pun!) for some lovely thin asparagus spears at the market.

This soup is a a celebration of sunnier days and springtime.  Filled with vegetables and chicken in a light broth, it's punctuated with the nuttiness of Parmesan cheese.  Served simply with an extra sprinkle of Parm (and maybe a hunk of bread, if you'd like), and - what can I say?  This soup makes me happy.

Happy Spring, everyone!  Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be enjoying myself outside.

Spring Vegetable Soup
Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a starter
Click here for a printable recipe

1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
1 quart low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 Parmesan cheese rind
1 small leek, white and light green parts chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
2 medium sized turnips, cut to a 1/2-inch dice
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias
1 small bunch asparagus, sliced (about 1 1/2 c.)
2/3 c. frozen peas
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat chicken or vegetable stock over medium heat.  Meanwhile season the chicken lightly with salt.  When the stock reaches a boil, add the chicken and lower the heat to medium low.  Poach the chicken at a bare simmer for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool.

Return the stock to medium-low and add the Parmesan rind.  Simmer for 5 minutes and then add the leek, garlic, turnips and carrots.  Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the turnips and carrots are almost tender.  Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then add to the soup.  Add the peas and asparagus and cook 2-3 minutes, just until they turn bright green.  Taste & season as desired with salt & pepper.  Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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