grandpa’s spring vegetable minestrone.

oh yes. it’s a grandpa rice soup recipe. and this is a good one. it’s one of the most “different” soups in the whole cookbook, the flavors are so unexpected but so delicious! behold: spring vegetable minestrone with fava beans and mint.

this is a fresh take on traditional minestrone, which is typically a tomato-based soup made with noodles, tomatoes, zucchini, and cannellini beans. grandpa’s version is made with leeks, asparagus, fava beans, garbanzo beans, peas, and green beans, with no tomatoes or noodles, and it’s flavored with mint(!). i had never tried anything like it before, but it just hit the spot, and i know you will love it if you try it.

this is actually a really quick soup to throw together, because most of the hands on work is just in chopping the leeks, carrots, celery, and asparagus. the rest of the ingredients can be canned or frozen, or are kitchen staples. the mint gives it this subtle fresh taste, which makes it really great on a cold winter day or even a cool summer day where you might be craving soup.

i might be crazy, but when we had “the sickness” come through our house a few weeks ago, i thought of how good this soup would have been. it’s mild enough, but packed with so much good stuff that it’d be a great sick food to have in the freezer for when you need it.

okay, enough, i don’t need to sell this to you anymore, but i cannot sing the praises of this recipe enough. so make it. and then let me know what you think! i think this is going on our meal plan next week, because i’m craving it now…

spring vegetable minestrone (makes a large batch without doubling)

 

  • 1/4 C. olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, chopped (light parts only)
  • 1 C. carrots, chopped
  • 1 C. celery, chopped
  • 2 qts. vegetable (or chicken) broth
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp. basil leaves
  • 2 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 C. shelled fava beans, fresh or frozen (i used frozen lima beans)
  • 1 (16-oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C. peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 C. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (i used frozen)
  • 1-2 tsp. mint flakes
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

heat oil in a 5-quart dutch oven or sauce pot on medium-high heat. add leeks, carrots, and celery; cook and stir 5-6 minutes or until vegetables soften. add broth, parsley, basil, and thyme. bring to a boil. reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, 20 minutes. stir in asparagus, fava beans, garbanzo beans, peas, and green beans. cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and crisp. ass mint flakes. ladle into bowls and serve. sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese if desired. as with all my grandpa’s soup, i suggest that crusty bread be involved in this meal.

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