Spring-Hued Soup

Yield: 10 cups

This soup is reminiscent in colour of the tender greens that confirm the start of spring.  It also makes use of the first crops that become available: asparagus, chives and mint – so it tastes like spring too.  Overall, expect a creamy and freshly-flavoured bowl that’s as good at room temperature as it is piping hot.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped, 2 cups
  • 1/4 cup diced celery, and throw a few leaves in there too
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup finely sliced asparagus stalks, (the part you won’t be eating when making a showy dish of asparagus spears – that way you don’t loose any of the veggie)
  • 1/2 a medium cauliflower cut into large florets, 4 cups
  • 1-1/2 cups green peas (frozen is fine)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon well-packed, finely chopped fresh mint
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

What you do (pressure cooker or electronic pressure cooker version; stove-top instruction will follow after):

  1. In a pressure cooker, heat the oil over a medium-low flame and add the onions and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and asparagus and sauté another minute or two before adding the cauliflower, peas and water or broth.
  3. Fit the lid and bring to pressure for 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release naturally. For those with an electronic pressure cooker, 7 minutes on soup cycle with natural pressure release.
  4. Open the lid once the pressure is released and add the salt, chives and mint. Use an immersion (stick) blender to blend the soup until it’s smooth. Season with freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve.

What you do (stove-top version):

  1. In a thick-bottomed soup pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium-low flame and add the onions and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and asparagus and sauté another minute or two before adding the cauliflower, peas and water or broth.
  3. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until all the ingredients are quite soft. This will probably take 35-40 minutes, perhaps more if the asparagus stalks were on the tough side.
  4. Add the salt, chives and mint. Use an immersion (stick) blender to blend the soup until it’s smooth. Season with freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve.

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