Spring Soup Recipes for Busy Gardeners

Spring is perfect soup weather. It’s easy, it’s quick, and many times you can leave it to simmer while you work outside. Around my house it is a staple as springtime is very busy on the farm! New baby animals being born, gardens to ready up, tend and plant and lots of other outside chores. Try these recipes on the stove top or in the slow cooker.

Spaghetti and Meatball Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped into a small dice
1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
2 small ribs celery chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups tomato sauce or 1 (14-ounce) can plus 1 (8-ounce) can
3 cups chicken stock, available in a box on the soup aisle
1 pound ground beef, pork and veal mix (meatloaf mix)
1/2 cup grated cheese, Parmigiano or Romano, plus more to pass at table
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 pound favorite small pasta, such as orzo, small shell, or elbow macaroni

Preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, carrots, onions, celery, garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and stock and cover pot. Turn up heat and bring to a fast boil.
While soup comes to a boil, mix the ground meat with cheese, breadcrumbs, egg and parsley. Roll into 1 1/2 to 2-inch balls.
Remove lid from soup and slide balls into soup. Bring back to a boil, then stir in pasta. Reduce the heat and simmer soup 10 minutes more, until pasta is tender and balls have cooked through. Serve hot with garlic bread and a green salad.

Super Quick Minestrone

Healthful, delicious recipes for spring (and every season) can be found in this innovative cookbook.

Healthful, delicious recipes for spring (and every season) can be found in this innovative cookbook.

1 cup (4 ounces) small elbow macaroni
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 pound pancetta, (country bacon) cut into 3 pieces
6 medium garlic cloves, each cut in 1/2 lengthwise
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions (2 small onions)
1 cup small-diced celery (2 medium stalks)
1 cup small-diced carrots (2 to 3 medium carrots)
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary or thyme leaves
1 (14-ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups small-diced zucchini (green/yellow) (5 small zucchini)
2 cups small-diced, peeled russet potatoes (1 large russet)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer the pasta to a baking sheet. Toss the macaroni with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the chicken stock.
In another large saucepan over high heat, heat 1/4-cup oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the pancetta and cook until it begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and carrots.
Cook until the vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Add the chopped herbs. Raise the heat to high. Add the beans, tomatoes, zucchini, and potatoes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then bring it down to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes, skimming any foam off the top of the soup. Season generously, with pepper. Add salt, to taste. Just a few minutes before serving, add the cooked macaroni. Serve warm with Parmesan and olive oil passed at the table.

ABC Soup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup alphabet pasta *

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and seasoning salt, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, water, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 35 minutes. Add the alphabet pasta and stir well. Simmer until the pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
*You can use any small pasta shape for this soup – try orzo and stars, too!

All Season Vegetable Soup for Two
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 T. vegetable oil
1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
1 small potato, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, sliced
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 cup broccoli florets
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

In a medium pan, sauté onions in oil until tender. Add the next four
ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Add the broccoli, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered for 7 minutes or until
vegetables are tender. Serves 2.

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.

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