If you live anywhere near the midwest or Kansas, you know that the end of March and beginning of April is a weird limbo of sorts where one day it’s 75 and sunny, and the next day it’s 32 and giant white flakes are falling down from the sky.
It’s nearly impossible to keep up with the extreme temperature changes, and I’m in a constant state of dread wondering what my next move should be. Do we turn the air on because it’s 85 degrees in our house, or keep the heat on just in case the temperature drops below freezing? Can I stow my comfy sweaters and flannel pjs until fall or do I need to cover myself from head to toe to keep warm? Do I dare plan a week full of spring-like meals, or stick with dishes that warm me from the inside out??
Today’s recipe is the answer to my winter/spring woes. It’s a meal that screams spring, but will still keep me cozy and warm should mother nature decide to throw in a snowy 40-degree day where it doesn’t belong.
I basically just grabbed every single in-season vibrant green veggie I could get my hands on, chopped them up into bite-sized pieces, and sautéed them in a trio of butter, garlic and sweet shallots. I seasoned them with plenty of salt, and then covered everything in a low-sodium chicken stock (this kind if my favorite).
The broth is flavored simply with the zest of a lemon, lemon juice, and a parmesan cheese rind. If you haven’t been saving the rinds on your parmesan cheese, you’re missing out! It’s a little trick I learned from Giada back in the day, the cheese that’s left on the rind slowly melts into the broth, and gives it this nutty, savory element that’s impossible to replicate with anything else. It’s something I almost always add to my soups these days, and I even throw it in my red sauces and some braises – so good.
I would be fine with the soup as is, but I have a husband that requires a little bit more substance when it comes to soups, so I threw in those adorable mini raviolis you can get at Trader Joe’s, but you could use any small pasta that strikes your fancy. Once the pasta cooks, the soup is seasoned to taste and it’s ready to go.
To serve, I drizzled some ciabatta with olive oil, salt and pepper, popped it under the broiler until it was super crisp, and used it to soak up some of the lemony broth. I also covered the entire thing in copious amounts of parmesan cheese, because, well, just because…
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
- 1 cup chopped snow peas
- 1¼ cup chopped haricot verts
- 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- 32 ounces unsalted chicken stock
- 1 parmesan cheese rind
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 2½ teaspoons)
- 2½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1¼ cup shelled English peas
- 1 cup mini ravioli or small pasta
- Parmesan cheese garnish
- Heat a large pot to a medium heat. Add butter. Once butter melts, add garlic and shallot. Sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add asparagus, snow peas, haricot verts, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until veggies are bright green. Add chicken stock, rind, zest, lemon juice, ravioli and remaining salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until pasta is cooked, about 12-13 minutes.
- In the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add peas.
- Season soup to taste with salt and lemon juice. Remove remaining rind. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and serve with crispy ciabatta.