SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP
serves 4 or more
A Primavera soup is the lesser known relative of the minestrone soup but so very delicious and healthy! It is packed full of wonderfully fresh, green vegetables. When Spring shows her face in Puglia, the vegetables are at their best – there is an abundance of choice and every part of the countryside, shops and city markets have a bountiful array of incredible vegetables. I love the displays of artichokes, peas, beans, asparagus and broccoli – to name just a few! Here in Puglia, seasonal eating has never gone out of fashion!
A minestrone is designed to use up the vegetables that are in season and left overs and some recipes contain meat, however, this recipe is pure fresh vegetables – keeping it light and simple and showcasing how well seasonal vegetables work together.
This is Zia Lucia’s recipe and she makes it for me whenever I’m in Bari. It does take time to prepare the fresh vegetables, but once they have all been cleaned and cut, the soup is easy peasy! Maybe that’s why she makes it – so I can help!!
For this soup, use any combination of fresh vegetables – whatever you can get your hands on. I’ve included the vegetables we grow on our estate.
4 tablespoons of Terre Di San Vito extra virgin olive oil for cooking
Terre Di San Vito extra virgin olive oil for pouring when serving
1onion finely sliced
8 baby artichokes
400g broad beans (fava beans)
400g fresh peas
2 lit water or stock to cover (if not using veg stock, you will need to add a couple of vegetable stock cubes)
Salt and pepper to taste (add after stock cubes have been added so you can monitor slat level)
200g grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Preparing the dish:
Before cooking your vegetables, they need to be washed and prepared:
Baby artichokes: peel outer hard leaves. Cut the top 1/3 off the tops (they will remain hard otherwise). Cut the artichokes into ¼
If using dried broad beans: soak in tepid water then remove the thick outer skin. Fresh broad beans: simply remove from pods
Fresh peas: remove from pods
Heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat
When warm, add the sliced onion and sauté for a few minutes until translucent and soft.
Add all the chopped vegetables and give them a good stir.
Now add the water/stock, a little salt and pepper and bring it to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let it simmer for about 40 minutes or until the beans and artichokes are soft.
Serve the soup in individual bowls and lightly drizzle some extra virgin olive oil. As an option, you can add your favourite pasta or top with grated parmesan and some freshly ground black pepper.
In Puglia and especially in our family, we always drizzle our extra-virgin olive oil over the top – it gives it an incredible flavour!
Adjust the salt and pepper to your taste – depending on whether you’ve used water or stock.
Adjust the vegetables to suit you and the season.
This will keep in the fridge for 3 days and will still taste fabulous.
Serve with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito Apeneste white wine.