Spring Vegetable Chowder Recipe
More Spring vegetable and meat free recipes! Soup isn’t just for winter, it makes a lovely light and healthy lunch or dinner in the spring and summer months. This one comes courtesy of my mum. She says: “It’s very nice, thick like a vichysoisse but with a nice hint of fennel and asparagus. After you add the cream at the end, the soup is somewhat lighter in colour but still green, although it hasn’t shown up very well in the photos.” Although this has been made into a thick, smooth soup, you could serve it without blitzing it – just cut the vegetables into a shape that looks a bit more pretty to serve.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 250g bulb fennel, coarse outer leaves and stalks removed, bulb thinly sliced (reserve fronds to garnish if desired)
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 250g floury potatoes, peeled, cubed (Kestrel and red skinned varieties make the smoothest soup)
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- ½ cup light cream
- fresh crusty bread or parmesan toasts to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat then gently fry the leek and fennel for approx 10 minutes, not letting them brown. Cut about 6cm off the ends of the asparagus spears then cut these bottom ends in half lengthways. Cut the remaining tip ends into small pieces and set aside. Add the spear ends to the saucepan, along with the potato, stock and lemon zest. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes until the potato is tender. Add the peas and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Use a blender or food processor to blend the soup until smooth then return to the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the reserved asparagus tops and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the cream and taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fennel fronds then serve with sliced bread or parmesan toasts.
To make parmesan toasts, simply finely grate parmesan over thinly sliced bread slices then drizzle with a little olive oil and bake until golden.