It’s officially spring. Aaaaand very much still soup season here. Is Mother Nature punishing us for the abuse she’s endured this year? I mean, I can’t say I blame her. But four snow storms in two weeks seems rather excessive. Mother Nature, I can’t speak for our government, but I will do right by you, I promise. Let’s just bring back the warm weather, please and thank you?!
In the meantime, this soup will be on repeat. It is at once cozy and bright, thanks to stick-to-your-bones beans and potatoes balanced by lemon and spring greens. And there is a secret weapon ingredient that really adds depth of flavor: miso. Honestly, I have a hard time not adding miso to soups. I can’t help myself. It lends so much nuance and umami to a soup, leading any tasters to believe you simmered it for hours upon hours, even if it was a mere fifteen minutes. Miso is obviously not a typical ingredient in a minestrone soup, but I promise the flavors remain true to minestrone. You don’t detect the miso itself so much as a certain je ne sais quoi.
In this particular recipe, I used white beans, russet potatoes, celery, spinach, peas, dill and parsley; however, the beauty of minestrone soup is using what you have on hand. Kale can stand in for the spinach, carrots may be thrown into the mix, any herbs you prefer swapped in — feel free to get creative. I really like the addition of lemon to brighten up the flavors, especially looking ahead to spring. The recipe calls for puréeing half of the soup to render it thick and creamy (a favorite trick with bean or potato-based soups). I promise this extra step is worth it. Garnish the soup with a heap of fresh herbs, a generous drizzle of olive oil, shaved pecorino cheese and serve with a thick slice of bread. It’s a perfect weeknight meal. Enjoy!
Oh, and tell me — what are you doing to get through this endless winter? I need all the tips I can get! xo Maggie
Spring Minestrone Soup with Lemon + Miso
Yield 6-8 servings
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or ghee
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced into 1” pieces
- Juice of 1 lemon, divided (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 15 ounce cans of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 rounded tbsp white miso
- 4 heaping cups baby spinach
- 1.5 cups frozen sweet peas
- Fresh dill and parsley, chopped
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and starting to caramelize — about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery and potato, along with another pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes.
- Add juice of 1/2 of the lemon to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Add the beans and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
- Turn off heat and add the miso to the pot. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy (or use an immersion blender directly in the pot, only puréeing half). Transfer puréed soup back to pot and give the soup a good stir, making sure the miso is incorporated. Turn heat back on to low. Add spinach and peas to the pot, cover and cook for 3 minutes until greens are tender and peas are cooked but still bright green. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Garnish with fresh herbs, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper and shaved pecorino or parmesan. Serve with bread for dipping, and enjoy!