Green spring cravings
The turn of the weather and vibrant abundance at the farmer’s market correlates with my transition to lighter meals. I crave salads, I crave light soups, and I crave green.
This spring soup features the seasonal asparagus and zucchini, which seem to flood the stalls at my farmer’s market. I whipped up a simple fennel frond pesto to infuse the soup with additional nutrients and the bright zing of lemon.
About the ingredients
Zucchini and asparagus – Feel free to use 2 pounds of either or both, according to what you have on hand. I like the combination, however, because the zucchini creates a silkier texture.
Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkin seeds boast a hearty zinc content, which supports skin and immune health. Raw nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors and anti-nutrients. The process of soaking and then dehydrating nuts/seeds (also called activating) removes these components and increases the nutrient availability. The result is also a tastier, sweeter, crunchier nut or seed. I recommend the Go Raw Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds.
Collagen Peptides – I can’t remember the last time I made soup without supercharging it with collagen peptides. It dissolves instantly, offering only nutrients and no flavor. Thanks to the collagen, a one-cup serving of this soup contains 18 grams of protein.
Collagen peptides can…
- Support skin health by promoting collagen density and skin elasticity. (Jennifer Aniston, evidently, swears by collagen peptides for glowing skin.)
- Support balanced hormones by introducing the amino acids lacking in muscle meat.
- Support bone and joint health, as collagen makes up 90% of bone mass. Studies show that collagen intake reduces joint pain.
- Support satiety. Collagen peptides taken at breakfast were shown to stave off hunger more effectively than other proteins. (Read more: 5 Benefits of Collagen)
I recommend this brand of grassfed collagen.
To make the pesto I use my single-serving blender cup, which is an included attachment for my Ninja blender (available here). As I’ve mentioned before, I highly recommend a Ninja as an affordable but high-performance alternative to the pricier Vitamix.
- 1 large leek, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup sliced leek)
- 2 Tbs. ghee or coconut oil
- 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and chopped in 1" pieces
- 2 small or 1 large zucchini, chopped in 1" pieces
- 2 cups broth/stock of choice
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- 5 scoops (about ⅓ cup) grassfed collagen protein, available here (see note below)
- ¼ cup (1 oz) sprouted pumpkin seeds, (or 1 oz. nut/seed of choice)
- 2 cups loosely packed fennel fronds
- ¼ cup excellent olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon (2 Tbs. juice)
- ¼ tsp. coarse sea salt, to tase
- For the soup, heat the ghee or coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped veggies and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, until vegetables are softened, but not mushy.
- Cool slightly, then pureé in a blender (I love this one - it's like an affordable Vitamix) or use a handheld immersion blender. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors and adequate salt. Then, blend in the collagen.
- For the pesto put all ingredients into a food processor or a Nutri-Bullet style blender. I use the Single-Serving cup attachment for my blender. Blend until smooth. If necessary, add another squeeze of lemon juice or plain water to loosen up the pesto so it blends smoothly.
- Add a dollop of pesto on each bowl of soup and serve. The soup is tasty warm or chilled.