Apparently it’s officially spring as of last Sunday. It certainly felt that way in Austin, where it was 85 degrees and sunny, but then when we got home to Northern California it 47 degrees and pouring rain. So not cool.
This soup is perfect for those drippy, cool can’t-decide-whether-it’s-winter-or-spring days. It’s chock-full of things that are green and good for you, like rainbow chard, sugar snap peas, fennel and leek. I like to eat healthy meals like this once in a while so I don’t feel so bad about stuffing myself with this for dessert. Duh.
You wanna know the best part of this soup? And no, it’s not all the magical health properties of the vegetables or the protein from the beans and peas.
It’s clearly the fact that I used whole wheat alphabet pasta! How awesome is that? I love spontaneous regressions into childhood.
This soup is perfect made after a trip to the farmers market or…Whole Foods. All of the green veggies used are in season right now and I gave the soup a California twist by adding a roasted poblano pepper.
I served my soup with a generous heap of freshly grated Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon. Hello, Spring!
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, sliced thin
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 bulb fennel, chopped
1 cup small pasta (such as alphabet or orzo)
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 large bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped
1/4 lb sugar snap peas, chopped in half
1 cup frozen green peas
1 poblano pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
fresh grated Parmesan for serving
squeeze of lemon for serving
Roast the poblano pepper either over the flame on your stove (if you have a gas stove) or under the broiler until black and charred. Set aside to cool and then remove the seeds and chop.
Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the leek and cook for five minutes, until the leek is bright green and soft.
Add the stock and the pasta and bring to a simmer. Let cook for another five minutes and then add the sugar snap peas, fennel, chard, beans, salt and pepper. Simmer for only a couple of minutes before adding the roasted poblano pepper, peas and mint. Continue cooking until pasta is just tender.
Ladle soup into bowls and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon.
30 minutes (including prep time)