Spring Minestrone Soup

Welcome spring with this savory soup from Hank. ~Elise

Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and it is infinitely malleable with the seasons. This version celebrates springtime, when fresh, new vegetables begin to show up at the market. I know to make this soup whenever I can get asparagus, artichokes and peas all at the same time. These vegetables form the backbone to the soup.

Another good thing about this minestrone is that it takes only about an hour to make, from start to finish, including prep time. Classic minestrone takes at least a couple hours to make, and my own recipe for minestrone takes 8 hours. There’s something to be said for a quick version.

Keep in mind that the ingredients below are a guide. Minestrone is supposed to be free-form, with whatever looks good at the produce market. Don’t like artichoke hearts? Skip them. Despise chickpeas? Use some other bean. Just be sure to use lots of different kinds of vegetables and you’ll be fine.

The other key to this recipe is to build the soup like a house. Don’t toss everything in all at once, or some vegetables will be overcooked and some undercooked. This is why when you read my recipe below you will see that I add ingredients little by little.

Feel free to use canned or frozen vegetables in some cases. I use canned chickpeas and will often use frozen peas, which are almost as good as fresh. For a special occasion, use all fresh ingredients, though, as you can definitely taste the difference.

Spring Minestrone Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

You can either make fresh pesto for this recipe, or you can just buy some high-quality pesto in the market.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 green garlic stalks, or 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen), chopped roughly
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons
  • Up to 1/4 cup pesto
  • Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish

Method

1 Chop the green onions and green garlic and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops. If you are using regular garlic cloves, put them with the white parts of the green onions. Slice the potatoes and artichoke hearts into chunks you would want to eat with a spoon.

2 In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions as well as the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir to combine and cook 1 minute.

3 Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid and the quart of vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, add salt to taste, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

4 Add the artichoke hearts and cook another 5 minutes, then add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the cover from the soup and add the asparagus. Cook 2 minutes. Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions and green garlic, if using. Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.

5 Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Serve topped with grated cheese.

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Follow on Pinterest

Links:

Spring Green Minestrone - from La Tartine Gourmande
Spring Ragout - from 101 Cookbooks

18 Comments

  1. Jules

    This would be a good use for that rabbit stock I plan to make tonight.

  2. Jeni

    I got a pillow case full of arugula greens that was invading my sister’s garden. i’ll be making some pesto and adding it this soup. Now, i just need to find more uses for all those leaves, as they seem to be too mature for salad eating..

  3. Ellen

    We just started getting local asparagus here in Massachusetts so I made this for our dinner tonight. I used frozen peas, canned artichokes because that is what I had, and fresh spinach for the greens. It was delicious. I will be making this again.

  4. Allyn

    How does one use fresh artichoke hearts? Boil them, pull out the leaves and cut out the heart? It seems like rather a lot of work… is there an easier way?

    Buy them frozen. Much easier. ~Hank

  5. catherine

    Made this tonight – very easy! I couldn’t get artichoke hearts but I added broccoli and carrot because it was around and had to add some extra broth because there were so many veggies but man is this soup delicious and extremely healthy – exactly what I needed tonight. Thanks!

  6. Lou Doench

    I made clean-out-the-crisper soup today that could pass for minestroni if you squinted. That looks delicious!

  7. Renee

    This was absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for posting it. I replaced the potatoes with cauliflower and added mushrooms & italian chicken sausage. I also used your recipe for pesto but used sesame seeds instead of nuts ’cause that’s what I had. Loved it!

  8. Christine

    This soup was delicious! My meat-eating husband thought it was great too. Thanks for a great spring recipe–perfect use for all of the veggies in my my CSA box.

  9. Nancy

    This would be extra-yummy with fresh green garbanzos (chickpeas). They’re a bit of a pain to shell; sometimes you can find the shelled frozen version.

  10. Heidi

    Wonderful soup! I was excited to find all the fresh ingredients I needed at my local farmers market last weekend. I’ve never been a fan of peas, until now. Fresh peas put those canned/frozen mush balls to shame! Fresh pesto is also a must.

  11. Ann

    Wonderful, flavorful soup just as it is. Served w crusty bread & Chardonnay, it was a hit. Leftovers are just as good.
    Minestrone soups are a favorite in our house but this one is the best.

  12. Kristin Goodwin

    This soup was fantastic, I used baby collard greens… perfect with bread. Thanks for posting!

  13. Theresa

    This soup was delicious!! I added zucchini and pasta to the soup, and used endive & kale as my greens. Tasted great with a chunk of whole grain bread to soak up the broth. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Iny

    My husband exclaimed, “You can make this twice a week if you want!”

  15. Anonymous

    So delicious! Added some mild italian turkey sausage, additional amount of veg stock, and small shells.

  16. Charlene

    This was one of the best soups I have ever made. Thanks Hank.

  17. Amanda

    Hi Elise,
    I made this soup last weekend, mostly with farmer’s market finds…and it was literally some of the best soup I have ever had. I don’t know for sure what took it over the edge from good to awesome, but if I had to guess, it would be the freshness of the ingredients and the pesto. For greens, I used mostly kale and a handful of spinach. Freshly shelled peas, asparagus…omg SO good. I just wanted to say thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  18. falalalalaaaa

    delicous! Yummy

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