Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring Green Soup by Anna Thomas

Spring Green Soup by Anna Thomas

I am still waiting for spring to arrive in Duluth.   This morning greeted me with freezing rain and a dusting of snow on the deck. But those of us in Duluth were glad that we didn't get the 17" of snow that southern parts of Minnesota received yesterday. And the forecast is for 70 degrees by Monday.  Drama Duluth.

So last night as I was glancing through Anna Thomas' cookbook, Love Soup, and read her description of this soup as a good transitional one from winter to spring, I was intrigued.  She describes it this way:  "Asparagus and the first baby zucchini are layered on a foundation of spinach and leeks and enlivened with some lemon and mint.  When the soup is blended, it becomes mysterious.  No one can identify everything in it,  but it perfectly captures spring." Capturing spring!  Ah.....such a blissful notion!

I can't wait for my mint to poke through the soil in my herb garden, as well as the asparagus in Tom's vegetable garden. (First, all of the snow needs to melt!) And he has nearly 100 leeks as a part of his transplants ready to put into the soil when it is warm enough. But for today, the grocery store provided everything I needed.

As I stated in an earlier post, I had contacted Anna Thomas to tell her the great benefit her pureed soups have been to me. She responded by graciously giving me permission to post a few of her recipes from time to time.  This one, like all of her other recipes, is superb! It might be the only way to capture spring in Duluth.

If I had to choose just one soup cookbook to keep, Love Soup would be the definite winner! I have never regretted purchasing this exquisite cookbook!  Love Soup Pzazz!


8 oz. (225 g)  leeks, white and light green parts  (about 2 1/2 cups chopped)
2 Tablespoons coconut oil  (original recipe used olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
7 oz. (200 g) Yukon Gold potatoes
8 oz. (225 g) asparagus (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
12 oz. (350 g) small green zucchini  (about 3 cups chopped)
8 oz. (225 g) baby spinach leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves or 1 Tbs. dried mint
about 3 cups light vegetable broth
2 -3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Wash the leeks thoroughly*; drain them well, and chop or slice them; you should have about 2 1/2 cups.  In a large nonstick skillet, cook the leeks in the oil with a sprinkle of salt, over medium heat, until they are soft and tender, 8 - 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, scrub and dice the potatoes and put them in a large soup pot with 4 cups water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Simmer the potatoes, covered, for about ten minutes as you slice the asparagus and zucchini and wash the spinach leaves. Add the green vegetables to the pot, along with the cooked leeks. Simmer the soup for about 15 more minutes.  Add the mint leaves during the last few minutes.

Simmering Spring Green Soup
Remove the soup from the heat, add the vegetable broth, ( I used only 2 cups of vegetable broth) and allow the soup to cool slightly, then puree it until it is smooth, either in a blender, in batches, or in a VitaMix, or with an immersion blender.  Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in a little lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne, and taste.  Correct the seasoning if needed. If the soup seems too thick add a little more water or vegetable broth.

Anna Thomas recommends putting a swirl of fruity olive oil over the top of each serving and I would certainly do that if I could digest it well.  She also recommends garnishing it with crumbled goat cheese or croutons.  On one serving I used a couple of croutons, and for another serving I sprinkled a tiny bit of low-fat feta cheese on it.  Spring Pzazz!

*Be sure to get all of the sand out of the leeks, by pulling them apart and rinsing thoroughly.

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe:  9                              
Serving Size:  Generous 1 cup                
Calories: 82
Total Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 248 mg
Total Carbs:  12 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 4 g

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