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May 1999 Issue
The Season's Fare
by Philip R. Gantt
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Spring Soup II

This soup is quick to prepare, nutritious and tasty. I presented a previous version of this soup some months back, however this one is a little different, emphasizing the use of seasonal items. Depending on what happens to be fresh in your region, feel free to modify any of the ingredients accordingly. I would suggest, however, that you use each of the ingredients sparingly so as not to overpower the subtle flavor of the other ingredients. This is especially true of the leafier vegetables that release a lot of flavor.
  • 1 can chicken broth plus 1 can water (or homemade chicken stock)
  • 2 spears fresh asparagus, French cut
  • 4 fresh green beans, thin French cut
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp. yellow squash, shoestring cut
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red Chili Sauce (optional)
  • Additional veggies could include 4 fresh quartered mushrooms, 1 tsp. chopped parsley, chard, spinach, or two sprigs of fresh watercress
While the chicken broth and water is being heated in a pot, prepare the fresh vegetables. For the asparagus, hold each of the spears by the ends and bend to snap off the tougher bottom portion. French cut the tips of the spears and add to the pot. French cut the green beans and add them to the pot as well. When the liquid comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately. If you like a little spice in your life, serve with red chili sauce at the table.

Gourmet's Note: French cut basically means to cut diagonally. When I French cut, I make a diagonal slice (about 45 degrees), rotate the vegetable 1/4 turn, and cut again at the same angle. I repeat the process until the entire vegetable is cut. This type of cutting, in theory, exposes more surface area of the vegetable and thereby releases more flavor.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
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