As far as we're concerned, the start of spring does not mark the end of soup season. Really, spring is the perfect time to make some our favorite soups. You don't have to turn on your oven, plus you can take full advantage of the produce you find at your local grocery store or farmers market. From a creamy asparagus and saffron velouté to a chilled Spanish bread and almond soup, we've collected our 8 favorite soups to make when the weather warms up.
If you've got homemade chicken stock on hand, this soup comes together in minutes. Heat the stock and pour in a stream of whisked egg and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. When the egg and cheese mixture hits the hot liquid, it will create beautiful strands. Finished with a touch of nutmeg, lemon zest, and finely minced parsley, it's a perfect spring soup.
The thickening agent in this soup is also what gives it a bright, sharp punch of citrus. Avgolemono ("egg-lemon") is a Greek mixture of eggs and lemon that's tempered with a ladleful of hot broth before getting poured back in the pot. The tart soup combines tender rice or orzo with juicy poached chicken, the optional addition of more lemon juice, and minced dill to finish.
This soup is inspired by ants on a log, the classic childhood snack. Here, a creamy celery purée is offset by tart pickled grapes and a crunchy, rich peanut crumble. Adding celery leaves right before blending the soup bumps up its bright color and finishing the soup with a few spoonfuls of the grape-pickling liquid lightens up the dish.
Ajo blanco is Spain's other classic chilled soup, sometimes called "white gazpacho." Made with bread, almonds, garlic, olive oil, and a splash of vinegar, it's at once light, creamy, and full of flavor. Topped with crisp green grapes, it's a soup made for warmer weather.
Sometimes cooking zucchini is a challenge, as the watery vegetable breaks down before it takes on color and flavor from the heat. But in this soup, that plays to our advantage. The zucchini cooks until its tender, then it's blended with basil. The resulting soup is bright green, fresh, and ready in less than 30 minutes.
This velvety, smooth soup pairs asparagus and tarragon with sweet leeks and fennel. The fennel reinforces the anise-like flavor of the tarragon, while the leeks complement the mellow sweetness of the asparagus. Finish off the creamy soup with asparagus tips, crème fraîche, chopped tarragon, fennel fronds, and a glug of olive oil.
Those of you who have made traditional pozole verde before will scoff at the inclusion of this recipe in a roundup of quick spring soups. While it's true that a totally traditional version of the soup is more of a daylong, weekend project, our version streamlines the process and is cooked in a single Dutch oven, making this a plausible dinner option for any night of the week. Adding pumpkin seeds brings the soup richness, and searing the green salsa adds depths of flavor.
The idea of cooked lettuce might not whet your appetite, but this soup might just convince you to do more than toss yours in salads. We cook garlic and onion until soft, then add stock and simmer. Once the stock has been nicely flavored, we add lettuce and parsley, and cook until the crisp greens are wilted and softened. After that, all there is to do is blend the mixture and you're ready to eat. Garnish the bright green soup with radish and pea shoots and a light squeeze of lemon juice.
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