Jun 182010
A few weeks ago I made another trip to my new favorite place in the world…the union square farmers market.  Twas a brisk, end-of-spring, evening and I saw some local asparagus and leeks so, as per usual, I bought them with little to no direction as to what to do with them.  As I was walking home, realizing that it was pretty chilly for June, I thought hey, why not try to squeeze one more soup in before it’s officially New York summer and I’m loitering in the freezer isle at Whole Foods just to cool off and save on my AC bill.  

This soup is possibly the springiest thing I’ve ever seen.  Just check out the 4 stars of this soup below: Asparagus, FRESH fava beans, leeks, and green beans.  

This soup starts as many soups do…with carrots and onions.  But special onions.  Springy onions.

Then we add broth, herbs, and vegetables.

Now here’s where things started to get real.  You might think that it’s all sunshine and daisies in my kitchen, but not always.  After following all the directions Bon Appetit gave me, I still felt like this soup was lacking a little in the flavor department.  Luckily, I had some fresh pesto on hand, and thought this might be the perfect way to jazz up this soup.  Oh it was.  As soon as I added the pesto, the flavors popped and I was happy with the soup.  Crisis averted.  

Nutritional highlights:  I mean, this soup is basically straight up vegetables so I don’t think I really have to go on about how healthy it is.  But part of what makes it so great is that most of these veggies are local, which not only means I’m supporting some awesome farmers, we’re also getting produce at the peak of their freshness (and peak of their nutritiousness) because they don’t have to travel from Cali to get to me.  The shorter the distance from field to belly the better.  

Fava Bean and Spring Vegetable Soup:
adapted from Bon Appetit
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only) thinly sliced…about 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled carrots
  • 4.5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups shelled fava beans (from about 2 pounds unshelled)…note: shelling fava beans is NOT a quick task
  • 8 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and cut diagonally in 1 inch pieces (I don’t know what 8 ounces means in terms of asparagus so I just used the small bunch I had)
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish (optional)
  • Prepared pesto…if you want to shake things up like me!

1.  Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat.  Add leeks and carrots and saute until they’re tender but not brown (8 min or so).  
2.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add favas and green beans and simmer for about 8 minutes.  
3.  Add asparagus and 1/3 cup basil.  Simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.  I think I ended up cooking mine longer because my vegetables were not quite done so just taste test often.
4.  Season LIBERALLY with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve soup with a spoonful of pesto on top or mixed in and top with basil and shave Parmesan.  

Farewell to spring and soup…

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