Send your winter recipes into hibernation and use fresh finds from the farm stand to whip up these light, nutritious soups. They taste like sunshine in a bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add a 10-ounce package mirepoix and heat 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a pint of cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat 30 seconds. Add a 14-ounce can cannellini or navy beans (rinsed and drained) and 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth to pan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium–low heat for 10 minutes. Trim woody ends from 2/3 pounds asparagus and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to pan and simmer 10 more minutes or until asparagus is tender but not mushy. Stir in 4 cups spinach and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Heat just until spinach is wilted. Serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped chives. Serves 4.
Minty Pea Potato Soup
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 thinly sliced leek and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper and cumin. Heat 1 minute. Add 1/2 pound quartered new potatoes and 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups fresh shelled or frozen green peas, and heat for 5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup fresh mint and juice of 1/2 lemon. Using a blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth, in batches if necessary. Serves 4.
Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Soup
Place 2 cups strawberries and 2 tablespoons water in a blender and blend until smooth. Place puree in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and press down with a spatula to separate the seeds. Discard seeds and return puree to blender along with 1 cup sliced, raw rhubarb, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen brand), 2 tablespoons fresh mint, 1 tablespoon honey, 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate soup for at least 2 hours before serving. If chilling thickens it too much, stir in additional coconut milk. Serve garnished with sliced fresh strawberries and 1/4 cup unsalted shelled pistachios. Serves 4.
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