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Still Soup Weather

June 23, 2009

Barley, Lentil, and Swiss Chard Soup

I realize that a lot of you are perhaps already experiencing that thing called BBQ weather, but in the Northeast, we’ve been rained in through almost all of June. I’ve been gazing at the pages of spring produce in Bon Appetit for the last two months, wondering when, oh when is it going to be our turn, and then looking at the window and realizing it’s not our turn yet.

But for all of you who live in already sunny climes, I know there are a lot of you who are also plagued with late June rains. I’ve been reading food blogs from people around the US who are also wondering where the heck summer is, and I have a few friends and readers in the southern hemisphere for whom summer is a half a year away. So in honor of our late-arriving spring, and those of you for whom soup season is just gearing up, I put together this post of some of my favorite soup recipes from the last two years.

I love soup. I eat it for lunch almost everyday during the fall and winter, but usually by this time of the year I’ve switched over to daily salads instead. This week I defrosted the last of my winter soups and had it for lunch, and was reminded that this Spinach and Barley Soup was one of my all-time favorites.

Spinach Barley Soup

And the color is bright enough that you might be able to pretend it’s actually nice outside.

Minestrone has long been one of my favorites, as well: hearty and flavorful and chock full of protein and vegetables. I tend to think pasta e fagioli and minestrone are just slightly different variations of the same thing, so with that in mind, I have two recipes here, one that is like a light pasta e fagioli, and a thicker, creamier minestrone-like version.


While it may not be the most photogenic of my various soup recipes, Beer Cheese Soup remains a revered soup in my mind. And while I might feel quite strongly that it should only appear on Christmas Eve, you should feel free to make it anytime, preferably tonight, if you’ve never had it before. You really don’t know what you’re missing.

Potato Leek Soup is another excellent spring choice: It’s light enough that you don’t feel like you’re adding to your winter hibernation layer, but doesn’t require ingredients that the late onset of summer might be keeping out of your reach just now.

And while it might not seem quite right for spring, you can never go wrong with chili. I have several recipes, including a very spicy vegetarian chili and an award-winning (ha, if you count my friends’ commendations as an award) Beef Brisket and Butternut Squash chili. And if you want something a little lighter, a white chili made with turkey or chicken might be just what you’re after. And hey, if the sun comes out you can grill some hot dogs and have chili dogs for dinner!

Turkey White Bean Chili

Another lighter, more spring-like soup is this awesome Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chive Cayenne Oil. Sure, you’re thinking, broccoli and cheddar soup isn’t light. But this one really is.

And one final favorite that seems just perfect for spring: Creamy Parsnip and Chickpea Soup. Yet another whose bright colors might just convince you that the infernal rain will end sometime soon.

Adding the Israeli couscous

So if you, too, are waiting for the sunshine to appear, make the best of it with a big pot of lovely soup. If there’s anything to be happy about when the rain won’t stop, it’s soup.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 2, 2009 8:50 am

    Still raining…what a great collection of recipes. No sunshine again…soups on…thanks for sharing…Come On Sun!!!

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