Spring vegetable soup
- May 2020
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 20 min
This spring vegetable soup pays homage to the best of the season’s bounty. It’s bursting with asparagus, broad beans, fennel, lettuce, courgette and a squeeze of lemon. Load up on lots of green goodness and serve as a light starter or lunch.
This recipe is from Gill Meller’s cookbook, ROOT STEM LEAF FLOWER: How to Cook with Vegetables and Other Plants (Quadrille £27).
- Gluten-free recipes
- Vegetarian recipes
- 4.4g fat (0.7g saturated)
- 4.4g (0.7g saturated)
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 2 small fennel bulbs, diced into 1cm cubes
- 4 new potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 litre well flavoured vegetable stock (check it’s vegan and gluten free, if it needs to be)
- 2 large handfuls podded fresh young broad beans (see swaps)
- 2-3 handfuls podded fresh peas (see swaps)
- 1 small lettuce (little gem works well)
- Handful mixed fresh herbs, such as mint, lovage (see swaps), parsley, basil, fennel tops, chives
- 1 small courgette, cut into 1cm cubes
- Handful sugar snap peas
- 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Broad bean or pea tops, or pea and chive flowers, to garnish (optional)
- Heat a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the fennel and potatoes. Season lightly with salt and black pepper and cook gently for 6-8 minutes until softened and almost tender but not coloured. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a low simmer.
- Meanwhile, prepare your broad beans: larger beans, particularly those that have developed a black eye, can be tough and will benefit from being cooked in boiling water for 1-2 minutes before being peeled. Young, smaller broad beans can be put straight into a bowl with the podded peas. Remove any damaged or unwanted outer leaves from the lettuce, then wash and shred into 1-2cm pieces. Set aside. Pick the soft herbs from their stalks and chop them finely. Chop the chives (if using) as finely as you can.
- Make sure the broth is simmering, then drop in the courgette, broad beans, peas, sugar snaps and spring onions, then cook for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add the shredded lettuce and cook for a further 2 minutes, then stir in the herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and a grinding of black pepper.
- Ladle the soup into warm bowls. Garnish with the broad bean or pea tops and pea and chive flowers (if using) and trickle with olive oil before serving.
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