A trip to the local farmer’s market can be incredibly inspiring. There is nothing like the experience of picking up perfectly imperfect seasonal veggies and creating a dish simply based on what’s in front of you. This recipe was inspired by my love for seasonal soups & the beautiful spring produce lining my local farmer’s market stalls. Take liberty with this recipe and change out ingredients as you please, base flavors on what is seasonally available. The pesto component is kind of crucial for pops of flavor, but you can switch out the nuts and herbs to meet your taste preference. I serve over quinoa to make this a complete dinner, but you could skip the grains and keep it lighter or serve as a first course.
Spring Vegetable Stew with Green Onion Pesto
Makes 4 bowls
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 medium fennel bullb, diced
1/2 tsp. Herbamare seasoning blend (or sea salt)
1 tsp. fresh chopped herbs (thyme, oregano, marjarom are all good options)
5-6 fingerling potatoes, sliced into ¾ inch rounds (red or purple for color)
1 cup of garbanzo beans, cooked and drained
32 ounces of organic vegetable broth (you could use chicken for non-vegan option)
3 heaping cups of spinach or arugula
2 cups quinoa, cooked and left warm
1 bunch green onions (white + green parts) cleaned and diced
1/3 cup of almonds, lightly toasted
juice and zest of 1 lemon
handful of arugula or fresh basil
generous pinch sea salt
1/3-1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Cook quinoa according to package directions (1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa will yield what you need for four bowls). Set aside, keep lid on pot.
Heat olive oil in a medium soup or stock-pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel, and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent and veggies have softened.
Add the potato, Herbamare or salt, fresh herbs and cook for additional 2-3 minutes.
Add the garbanzo beans and broth, bring to a low rolling bowl, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
While soup simmers, make the pesto. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Right before serving soup, add the greens. Give a good stir – the heat from the broth will wilt the greens.
In soup bowls, add a couple spoonfuls of the cooked quinoa, then spoon the veggie stew over top. Serve topped with dollops of the green onion pesto (stir in or dollop on top before serving.