Life’s a Feast: Fresh spring soup

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PREP TIME: 7 mins

COOK TIME: 15 mins

SERVES: 4 people

This weekend, be sure to head down to the larger-than-life Remarkables Market, which is now open each Saturday, or to the Sunday Arrowtown Farmers Market. Trust me, you will be rewarded for your efforts.

With a plethora of fresh spring vegetables (amongst other things) on offer, including asparagus, spinach, baby leeks, fresh citrus, baby kale, microgreens, herbs galore, and the list goes on and on. You will be inspired to make the most of this gorgeous spring produce. The asparagus and spinach soup recipe below does just that, creating a nutritious, light and refreshing meal the whole family can enjoy.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium shallots

1/2 teaspoon sumac (optional)

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

500g fresh asparagus

3 cups good-quality stock (either vege or chicken)

1 cup baby peas (use frozen if can’t find fresh)

1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

120g bag fresh baby spinach

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Garnish

Micro-greens (I used Basil, Parsley and Partners microgreens)

Edible flowers (I used Basil, Parsley and Partners herb flowers)

Method

1.Dice your shallots. Heat the oil in a large pot to a medium heat and tip in your shallots. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened and becoming transparent. Make sure you don’t brown.

2.Next, tip in your garlic and sumac. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

3.Chop off the woody, tough end of the asparagus and then chop each spear into three. Put into the pot and combine with onion and garlic and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes before pouring in your stock.

4.If you are using fresh peas, add in now and simmer the vegetables for 5-6 minutes until they have softened.

5.Next add in your frozen peas, if using these, and spinach and bring back to simmer. Add in the mint and cannellini beans, bring back to simmer.

6.Once the soup is back up to simmer, use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth. Add your lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

7.Garnish with microgreens and edible flowers and serve immediately.