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 dill (or use 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.
Hi, Lauren. Are you using the fennel fronds or the bulb?
The fronds. Thank you for asking, I will clarify that in the instructions!
This sounds delicious! And totally agree with you on the collagen…I’ve been blending Vital Proteins into everything lately. Love it in my morning coffee!
Thanks for the recipes. I make a similar Asparagus soup recipe and it is delicious. I hadn’t thought of using zucchini with the asparagus or alone. I’m going to try this soon!
Hiya, lovely recipe. An unrelated question, how do you get your special Pinterest graphic?? Its lovely 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I have the same Ninja (larger and medium blenders – not individual sized) and have a difficult time blending greens for smoothies. I noticed you used it for this soup. Do you have any advice on thoroughly blending greens? Thanks!!
Why is there no dill in the recipe even though it is in the name? Can I just use dill instead of fennel?
You can use dill or fennel! I’ve updated the recipe to clarify any confusion.