Simple Soup for the Spring and Summer
Soup is an excellent way to get a frugal and nutritious supper on the table without much effort.
Often relegated to the fall and winter months, soup is still a wonderful choice for spring and summer, where it can offer a hearty meal using in-season produce.
The following recipe makes good use of the vegetables available at your local Farmer’s Market or CSA. It could be served as is, or act as a base for something more complicated. Adjust to suit your taste or use what you have on hand.
This soup involves four basic steps: chop, saute, simmer, and blend. If you plan to puree the soup, just chop the vegetables roughly since there is no need to waste time cutting them into bite-sized pieces!
Spring and Summer Soup Recipe
- 1 onion chopped (sweet onion, like Vidalia is best, if available)
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 cups of roughly chopped new or fingerling potatoes or Jerusalem artichokes (which are not artichokes, but root vegetables)
- 4-6 cups chicken broth
- 2-3 to matoes quartered
- 1 leek chopped
- 3/4 - 2 cups fresh basil leaves to your taste (reserve a little for garnish)
- 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp dried
- Sea salt
- Coconut oil or butter for sauteing
- Olive oil optional
- Melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil or butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, zucchini, and Jerusalem artichokes or potatoes. Saute for about 5 minutes. (Sauteing vegetables before adding stock or broth is a great way to increase the flavor to any soup.)
- Once the vegetables are beginning to soften, add broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and leek and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes or Jerusalem artichokes can be easily mashed.
- At this point you may choose to eat the soup as is, or puree (either completely or partially). An immersion blender works well for pureeing soup that is still warm.
- Once blended, add the salt, basil, parsley, and thyme to taste, blending briefly to distribute throughout. Add a drizzle of olive oil for a touch of extra flavor.
- If you wish to use a regular blender, wait until the soup has cooled a little, then blend in batches adding the herbs as you go. Once you are satisfied with the consistency of the soup, salt to taste and add the olive oil if desired. Don't fill the blender all the way to the top. . . the lid may pop off and soup could fly everywhere (ask me how I know)!
- If you have little ones who are able to eat soft vegetables by themselves, be sure to set some aside before blending. My 1 year old loves to eat soup veggies (she likes the pureed soup too, but needs more help with that)!
- If you desire a more chunky soup (and don't wish to puree it at all), chop the herbs finely and stir to distribute evenly.
- Season with pepper and add a sprinkling of freshly chopped herbs as a garnish.
Do you enjoy soup during the Spring or Summer? If so, what vegetables do you like to use?
I just made a delicious soup – its perfect for this time of year when we get lots of rain and cool days. This soup uses leeks, carrots, small red potatoes and a lot of zucchini. The base is chicken stock (homemade, yum!) and its seasoned with plenty of fresh thyme.
I blended mine well, as no one in my family cares for the texture of zucchini when its been overly cooked – we prefer it still crisp after sauteeing or stir-frying. Blended into this soup its delightful!
@Amanda Z, That sounds delicious!
This looks delicious! I am growing almost all of this in my garden, so I could make the soup right from my backyard! Super exciting!
@Carrie, That would be so neat. It always makes me happy to prepare a meal from food that has grown in my very own garden. It’s so much fun!
My husband loves soup, and my son and I like it too (my daughter is usually not such a fan). It’s such a frugal dish that I still put it on my meal plan once or twice a week. Chili is a pretty good summer “soup” too. 🙂
We love soup! It is delicious and frugal – two very important criteria 🙂 Yours look amazing!
Here are two of our favorites:
Hearty Lentil Soup – http://likeabubblingbrook.com/2010/04/hearty-lentil-soup-nourishing-frugal.html
Portugese Bean Soup – http://likeabubblingbrook.com/2011/01/portuguese-bean-soup.html
Soups are even better with a crusty, soaked WW bread! Yum!
I love soup! It’s a little difficult in the summer when there is no air conditioning but it’s still tasty! I can’t wait to try out this recipe.
Ditto to Alexis L – hard for me to get motivated to make soup with no A/C in the house! lol! But this does look yummy and like a good way to use up some toms/zukes come August when I am swimming in them! 🙂
this looks so yummy! it is rainy here and i am in a soup mood.
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I wish we enjoyed soups in the summer! They can be so frugal, easy, and healthy. But in the Texas heat, a hot meal just doesn’t sound good. Maybe we’ll enjoy soups again come October….or maybe next January. lol 🙂
@alyssa, I agree! The Texas heat can make soup a little off-putting. It’s fairly cool where I live, so that makes a big difference.
I’m currently making this soup! Thanks for the recipe.