Fresh Pea Soup with Ham
This play on split pea soup gets its vibrant flavor from fresh peas and fennel. The garnish, ham with baby greens and chives, adds a bit of elegance.
Curried Carrot Soup with Tarragon Oil
To make this healthy soup especially tasty, Naomi Pomeroy cooks the carrots with Madras curry powder, ginger and garlic. Before serving, she adds a little bit of Tabasco sauce and a drizzle of tarragon-infused oil.
Big Heart Artichoke and Parmesan Soup
David Myers’s simple soup, with its intensely earthy artichoke flavor, makes the most of exemplary Big Heart artichokes. It’s also a great way to use leftover Parmesan rind: Myers tosses it into the soup while it simmers, then discards it before pureeing.
Pea Consommé with Mint
This delicate broth is full of vitamin C, thanks to the pea pods Jeremy Fox simmers. (Snow peas are just as delicious and easier to find.) He tops the consommé with shards of white chocolate because he likes the way it brings out the peas’ sweetness while adding only a little fat.
This creamy soup is best the next day, after the flavors have blended; season it generously before serving.
Garden Pea Soup with Morel Cream
Chef Daniel Humm serves his wonderful sweet pea soup “cappuccino-style,” with a topping of morel cream that’s been frothed with an immersion blender. The recipe here simply calls for swirling the cream into the soup. Indeed, the cream is so intensely mushroomy, you may be tempted to eat it on its own.
Fava Bean Pasta e Fagioli
Chef Mike Lata’s spring version of pasta e fagioli, the Italian soup, uses fresh fava beans in place of borlotti or cannellini beans, along with meaty bits of bacon and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Creamy Spring Onion Soup
This fresh-tasting soup can be prepared with scallions or green garlic (which is harvested before the cloves have matured and has a subtle garlic flavor). A swirl of buttermilk mixed with fresh goat cheese at the end adds a nice tang.
With garlic, fennel, tomatoes, and a bit of orange zest, this soup has a nice Provençal feeling. And with cultivated mussels, which barely need to be cleaned, it’s a snap to prepare. If you can’t find mussels, try a fairly firm white fish, such as cod, instead—the soup will be different, but equally good.
Chilled Spring Pea Soup
Daniel Boulud puts this deliciously light and clean-tasting soup—a mix of sweet peas, favas, pea shoots, snap peas and snow peas—on the menu each spring. To make the dish even easier, skip the labor-intensive fresh favas, as well as the snow peas and pea shoots. Instead, just use sugar snaps and frozen baby peas.
Spring Vegetable Soup with Tarragon
This light soup is laden with nutrient-dense root vegetables like potatoes (vitamin C), carrots (beta-carotene) and onions (chromium, which helps maintain blood sugar levels). In the summer, Stéphane Vivier purees the soup and serves it chilled with the freshest herbs he can find.
Sophie Dahl likes eating peppery watercress in the spring and has figured out a way to highlight its bright flavor in this silky soup. A single tablespoon of cream gives the vivid green soup a touch of richness.
Spicy Avocado-Cucumber Soup
This tangy, luscious soup is an excellent make-ahead dish: Simply puree everything except the garnish, then chill. For a milder version, scale back on the serrano.
Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth
Antioxidant-rich fennel is one of several good-for-you ingredients in this wonderful soup. Viana La Place simmers Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds in the broth to give it a rich, cheesy flavor. It’s another example of the “nothing wasted” approach that Italians take to their cooking: “I also strain the soup and use the broth as a base for other dishes,” La Place says.
Watercress Soup with Pickled Cucumbers
Quick-pickled cucumber slices give this delicate, fresh-tasting soup a little zing.
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