Spring Soups

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After a long awaited spring finally starts to appear, soup may not be the dish at the top of your mind, but a good soup isn’t just for winter-time illnesses. There are a variety of broths and stocks completely unique to spring that can quickly add healthy variety into your diet.

Cucumber Dill Soup with Scallions

Inspired by Ingredients

Bill Telepan and Andrew Friedman

This chilled soup has a light tangy texture and doesn’t require a lot of active cooking time. The ingredients are easy to find and as long as you have a food processor, it’s a breeze to make. The authors recommend serving it with a little Tabasco sauce “it won’t register as spicy, but you’ll miss it if it’s not there.”

·  5 large cucumbers, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and seeded

·  1 bunch scallions

·  1 bunch dill, ends picked

·  1 clove garlic, chopped

·  Juice of 3 large lemons

·  4 cups buttermilk

·  1 cup plain yogurt

·  Salt

·  Freshly ground white pepper

·  Dash of Tabasco

1. Thinly slice half of the cucumbers crosswise. Thinly slice half of the scallions crosswise. Set aside.

2. Coarsely chop the remaining cucumbers and scallions and transfer to a large bowl. Add the dill, garlic, lemon juice, buttermilk, and yogurt, and give a good but gentle stir. Season with salt and pepper and puree in a blender until liquefied. (NOTE: You can use a food processor, but a blender will give a smoother, more pleasing result.)

3. Transfer the soup to a large bowl and add the reserved sliced cucumbers and scallions. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste. Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Pesto Pea Soup

Gourmet May 2009

Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

This is not your typical split pea soup. The combination of fresh basil and green peas bring a “fresh herbal sweetness” according to Eriquez. It takes less than twenty minute to create, and is a surefire ht for any entertaining occasion.

·       1 small onion, finely chopped

·       1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

·       1 medium celery rib, thinly sliced

·       1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

·       2 cups water

·       1 pound frozen peas (3 3/4 cups)

1/4 cup store-bought basil pesto plus additional for serving

Simmer onion, carrot, and celery in broth and water with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium saucepan, covered, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add peas and simmer, uncovered, until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in pesto, then purée soup in 2 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Season with salt.
Cucumber Gazpacho with Melon and Shrimp

Epicurious 2009

CuisinArt Resort & Spa

Gazpacho, probably the most well known chilled soup, is always better with fresh springtime ingredients. This version uses a cucumber base and a melon garnish to keep the flavor light, and well, springy.

·  3/4 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 3 1/4 cup), plus 1/4 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced for garnish (about 1/4 cup)

·  2 scallions (white and green parts), coarsely chopped

·  1/2 cup (loosely packed) assorted fresh herbs, such as basil, chives, and mint, coarsely chopped, plus ¼ cup finely chopped (for garnish)

·  1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, coarsely chopped

·  1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped

·  3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·  1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

·  3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

·  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·  1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

·  1/4 pound large shrimp (31 to 40 count per pound) peeled, cooked, and diced

·  1/2 cup seedless watermelon or cantaloupe, diced

In blender or food processor, combine coarsely chopped cucumber, scallions, coarsely chopped herbs, ginger, garlic, olive oil, and yogurt and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and hot sauce, then transfer to large airtight container and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 4 hours.

In small bowl, stir together shrimp and remaining cucumbers, herbs, and salt.

Fold watermelon or cantaloupe into soup. Divide soup evenly among 4 chilled bowls and top each with dollop of shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.


Roasted Red Pepper Bisque with Shrimp and Romano Cheese

Bon Appetit 2000

Ristorante Grano

A heavier soup than he rest, a good busque can provide a solid meal without feeling overstuffed or gluttonous. This warm red pepper soup would be perfect on its own with a few slices of bread, or it makes a lovely side to a salad or an entrée. The trick to this soup is making sure you cook the peppers long enough that the peels slip right off, without burning them. I personally recommend using a plastic bag that you can seal rather than a paper one as the recipe suggests. It traps steam better and makes the peppers easier to peel.

·       5 large red bell peppers

·       3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth

·       1 teaspoon paprika

·       1 teaspoon sugar

·       3/4 cup whipping cream

·       1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese

·       Hot pepper sauce
·       1 tablespoon olive oil

·       16 large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped

·       3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Char red bell peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed peppers. Cut 1 pepper into matchstick-size strips and set aside. Coarsely chop remaining 4 peppers. Combine chopped peppers and stock in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer until peppers are very tender, about 5 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to saucepan. Mix in paprika and sugar. Simmer 5 minutes to blend flavors. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover bell pepper strips and soup separately and refrigerate.) Whisk in cream and pecorino Romano cheese. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add reserved bell pepper strips and shrimp and sauté until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide shrimp mixture among 4 bowls.

Rewarm soup; ladle around shrimp mixture. Sprinkle basil over and serve.

Fava Bean and Spring Vegetable Soup

Bon Appetit 2000

The title really says it all. Leeks, carrots, and asparagus combine to create a veritable sampling of spring for your taste buds. You can substitute a different sort of bean for the fava. Black eyed peas are another good choice. Following a suggestion, I added a bit of tortellini to the soup and it immediately turned into a full meal.

·  1 tablespoon olive oil

·  2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

·  1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot

·  4 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth

·  2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (from about 2 pounds unshelled) or one 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed

·  5 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces

·  8 ounces asparagus, tough ends trimmed, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces

·  2/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
·  Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and carrot; sauté until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Add favas and green beans and simmer until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus and 1/3 cup basil and simmer until all vegetables are very tender, about 7 minutes longer. Season soup with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup basil. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing Parmesan separately, if desired.

Spring is a great time to cook. There’s an abundance of fruits and vegetables in season, especially compared to the dreary winter selection. So UHS, how about you test your culinary prowess with a spring soup? Just dust off that food processor and get right to it!

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