Spring has sprung, which means the tidal wave of delicious green foods is about to hit. What better way to kick-start this season than with an unconventional minestrone soup? It’s a far cry from the usual dark brown, tomato, bean, and pasta laden minestrone.
This delightful and visually stunning soup boasts Spring’s best offerings: asparagus and two varieties of peas. It can be effortlessly adjusted to utilize whatever green vegetable is on hand. Artichokes would also work fantastically. If pressed for time or unable to make it to the grocery store, use frozen vegetables.
It’s also hearty, substantial, and completely vegan. If veganism is not your religion, adorn it with a luscious poached egg or finish it off with a generous showering of Parmesan or pecorino cheese for a nutty, tangy bite. Match soup to vibrant season with this meal, where bright meets bright in both flavor and color.
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup brown rice, rinsed
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup sugar snap or snow peas, trimmed and cut in half diagonally
8 spears asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Generous handful of parmesan cheese, optional
Poached egg, optional
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer until the rice is just tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus, and green peas, and season with a few healthy pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste and adjust.
Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes and serve immediately. Garnish with cheese or poached egg, if using.