© 2023 WYPR
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Spring Soups

April 6, 2014 - Radio Kitchen - Spring Soups

Well, we've been to the market and we've seen what's available, and now it's time to come up with some ideas of what to do with all this Springtime food. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen has observed, there are few better uses than a Springtime soup for all this great produce. Here are a few ideas we've collected:

Creamy Spring Onion Soup

Olive oil for sautéing
4 bunches spring onions, cut into 1 inch lengths, tops discarded
4 leeks, white and tender green parts thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 vidalia onion, peeled, quartered and sliced thinly
salt and white pepper
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups water
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
2 ounces softened goat cheese
2 tbs finely chopped chives

1. Heat oil in a skillet and add the scallions, leeks, fennel and onion. Cook over low heat, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. When the vegetables are soft, add the wine and boil, reducing the liquid to a few tablespoons. Add water and cream, and cook until the vegetables are very tender.

2. Using a submersible blender, puree the mixture until it is thoroughly smooth. Check seasoning.

3. In a medium bowl, beat the softened goat cheese and the buttermilk together and stir in the chives.

4. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls while still hot, and drizzle the garnished buttermilk and goat cheese into each.

Spring Minestrone


olive oil
6 spring onions, white and pale green parts chopped, tops set aside
2 large cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 pound fingerling potatoes, quartered
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1/2 pound artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas
1 cup green peas
1/2 cup asparagus, ends trimmed, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
2 cups assorted spring greens, cut into chiffonade
2 tbs fresh pesto
grated pecorino cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet. Gently sauté the spring onions and garlic, taking care not to burn the garlic, about a minute. Add the cut-up potatoes and cook for an additional two minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and the broth to the skillet. Simmer and season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook gently for another 10 minutes.

3. Add the artichoke hearts, cook for 5 minutes, then the chickpeas and green peas, and cook for 5 more minutes while covered. Then add the asparagus, cook for 2 minutes, and finally add the salad greens and the green onion tops.

4. Turn off the heat, stir in the pesto, pour into bowls and garnish with grated cheese. Serves 6.

Lemony Spring Soup with Peas and Pearl Barley


olive oil
1 sweet vidalia onion, peeled and diced
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups dry white wine
the juice of two lemons (about 1/2 cup) plus their zest (reserve half for garnish)
3 tbs fresh mint, finely chopped
2 cups pearl barley cooked in chicken broth
2 cups fresh peas
salt and white pepper to taste

1. Gently sauté the onions in olive oil until they are translucent.

2. Add the broth and wine and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and zest, a little salt and white pepper and cook for one minute over low heat.

3. Stir in the mint, the barley and the peas, and keep the soup and a gentle simmer. Check the seasoning. Serve with a garnish of lemon zest.

Lamb in Broth with Spring Vegetables


olive oil
1 pound lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper
4 cups beef broth
1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise, then cut into crescent slices
1 bunch spring onions, cleaned, ends trimmed, julienned
1 yellow squash, ends trimmed, quartered, then sliced for small pieces
1 cup fresh spring peas
bouquet garni of dried tarragon, rosemary, lavender, and thyme
1 lemon for grating

1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil, not letting it smoke. Season the trimmed, cubed lamb, and drop into the skillet. Turn the lamb frequently so all sides cook. When the lamb is slightly seared, remove it and set aside on paper towels.

2. In a medium sauce pan, bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Drop in the bouquet garni, add the carrots and cook for four minutes, then add the other vegetables and cook until all are tender. Check for taste, and adjust seasoning.

3. Divide the lamb pieces among four soup bowls (a shallow, clear glass bowl makes the best presentation), then ladle the soup and vegetables. Garnish each with a few passes of grated lemon zest.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.