The devilishly hot days that taxed our bodies earlier this week have passed ... for the time being. We're back to cooler temperatures and possible rain showers. So I made soup with some of the vegetables and herbs that are coming from the garden and that have popped up at the farmer's markets.
Crusty bread and a bowl of vegetables and broth ... simple and healthy.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green sections, cut down the middle, rinsed and sliced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced, leaves rinsed and reserved
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 handfuls of small new red skin potatoes, washed and quartered
6 c. low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 c. trimmed asparagus
1 c. peas
1- 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. fresh spinach leaves
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
1 tsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
Grated parmesan cheese for garnishing the soup bowls
Artisan bread crisped in the oven for dunking in the broth
Making the Soup:
1. Heat the olive oil in a deep soup pot. Add the carrots, leeks, and celery stalk and cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and black pepper. Stir things together, cooking for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock and the quartered potatoes and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until just tender.
4. Add the beans, peas, and asparagus and cook until the asparagus and peas are bright green and tender crisp.
5. Add the spinach and celery leaves and let them wilt.
6. Stir in the herbs and turn the heat off ... let the soup sit for five minutes or so. Add the salt a little at a time, to taste.
7. Serve with crusty bread and Parmesan cheese for sprinkling.
NOTE: While I used chicken stock, this soup could easily be made with vegetable stock if you are so inclined.