Simple, elegant, soothing, green vegetable soup. This delicious soup is made in minutes and is full of flavour and made complex with the layering of textures – lentils for substance, snow peas for crunch and lemon for zing – just before serving.
Spring green vegetable soup follows on the heals of my green vegetable salad. The weather turned snowy and I still had lots of odds and ends of beautiful green vegetables in the refrigerator and freezer. As is mostly the case with my home cooking there is quite a lot of ad-libbing and swapping ingredients. Mint was the one ingredient I didn’t have which I think this soup gains from but it was buried under our late snowfall. Luckily the coriander I did have gave a similar fresh feeling and a slightly Thai twist to the soup. I think the lesson is that you can mix the herbs up, it might change the feel a bit – but it will still be delicious.
This lovely soup is light, yet still manages to feel satisfying without any of the heavier soup staples such as potato, pumpkin and kumara. I think it relies on the vegetables belonging to the family of sweeter greens, the amounts can be played with as long as you try to include at least some peas, I wouldn’t put stronger greens such as spinach or kale in this gentle brew as their flavours will overpower it. The lentils add a lovely soft chewiness, the snow peas a snap and the twist of lemon and zest that same lift that lemon always gives to green vegetables, all of them contrasting and balancing the smooth richness of the soup.
The recipe is adapted from a recipe in “Greenkitchenstories” latest book Green Kitchen at Home. The couple also write a blog by the same name, greenkitchenstories.com and are very inspirational and certainly worth looking at if you enjoy vegetarian cooking or are simply looking for vegetable inspiration.
GREEN VEGETABLE SOUP WITH TOPPINGS
Makes four good size servings
Start by getting your lentils cooking. I quickly blanched the snow peas in this water, before adding the lentils to cook.
Slice the snow peas in slivers ready to garnish your soup and set aside.
Heat a large pot over a medium heat and gently cook your onion until it starts to brown, then add the garlic and ginger and cook carefully until the garlic just starts to brown.
Now add all the rest of your vegetables, the coconut milk or cream and the stock or water.
Cook for a few minutes until the broccoli is only just cooked and then use a stick blender, or transfer to a blender and blend until very smooth. Check your seasoning, adding salt and pepper and lemon juice to season. Adding a little lemon juice as seasoning can help adjust the flavour if you are trying to reduce the amount of salt you are using. Keep your soup warm but not boiling until the lentils are cooked and once you have drained them you are ready to assemble your soup.
Serve the soup in warm bowls and garnish with a 1/4 share each of the lentils, snow peas and lemon zest. I served with lemon wedges on the side so people could add as much as they liked. This soup looks at its most vibrant served straight away and will loose some of that bright vibrant green if it is left heating for too long.
As a side note spring is definitely showing its face around here, as you can see with the blossoms on our apricot tree and the rhubarb putting up a brave front in the face of very mixed spring weather (notice the remains of our last snowfall in all of these photos).
I love this anticipation of spring and summer, tinged with reminders that in our part of the world you can’t be too complacent and that the weather will do as it wants when it wants.