Spring soups are recipes that don't seem to get nearly enough love IMO. But, if you have my cookbook, you've probably come across the Fava Bean and Farro Soup, which is one of my all-time favorite Spring soups. The only issue is that as a traditional Italian recipe and, tbh, it's kinda involved to make.
Over the years I've morphed that recipe and came up with another version of it that I'm calling a Minetrone Verde. To be totally clear, this is not a recipe you'll come across when you travel to Italy. There is technically a soup called Minestrone Verde from Italy's Puglia region but it's more of a winter soup.
This soup, with tons of spring vegetables, is the polar opposite. Made with a parsley parmesan broth, baby potatoes, and Spring vegetables, it's a recipe we love to turn to when we want food that's 100% Spring but still comforting meaning it's perfect for rainy Spring days. Over the years, I've made it with asparagus and snap peas, but this combination os zucchini, peas, and potatoes has just enough of the classic Minestrone ingredients to make it feel like a welcome update.
No matter how you make it promise you'll stir in the pistachio parsley gremolata becuase it's bursting with flavor and make the dish go from great to incredible.
stems reserved for soup
or raw almonds
smashed and divided
ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
quartered lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
or 2 cups frozen lima beans
For the gremolata: Combine all the parsley leaves (reserve the stems for the soup), all the pistachios or almonds, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice and a splash of water in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth then transfer to a bowl. Stir in lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add enough water to make the mixture loose like a pesto.
The gremolata can be made up to 2 days ahead. Place in a airtight container, place plastic wrap against the surface and cover.
For the fava beans: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil, fill a bowl halfway with ice water, and shell the fava beans. When the water is ready, drop the beans into the water, and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to ice water until cool. Drain then remove the fava skins by splitting open the skin and squeezing out the bean. Meanwhile, start the soup.
If you can't find fresh fava beans, you can use frozen lima beans and add them to the soup at the same time as the peas.
For the soup: Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. When it shimmers, add onion and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add all the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Tie parsley stems together with kitchen string and add to pot with parmesan rind (reserve rest of cheese for garnish) and potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.
Use vegetarian broth if you want to make this vegetarian or vegan.
Add the zucchini and haricots verts and cook until the beans are bright green and just tender, about 10 minutes. Add fava beans and peas, and cook until the peas and beans are bright green, about 2 minutes. Discard parsley and cheese rind and add more salt and black pepper to taste.
Omit the cheese if you want to make this vegan or dairy free.
To serve, divide soup into bowls, top with a dollop of gremolata and shavings of cheese, and serve with bread, additional cheese, and gremolata passed on the side. Stir in the gremolata just before eating.
Need help planning your next food-focused Italy trip? We specialize in just that! Read about our concierge and itinerary planning services, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out this survey and we'll get right back to you!
Connect With Salt & Wind
More Italy On Salt & Wind