What could be a better birthday gift than a basket filled with farmers market goodies? Some kind colleagues surprised me last week with a great selection from our Uptown Oakland farmers market. Among the delicious looking offerings in my gift basket: a leek and several zucchinis. Once home, I spread the produce out on my counter to ponder the possibilities. I quickly decided I had the makings for a simple leek and zucchini soup.
The next day, I ran into Preston Maring, who has retired from Kaiser Permanente but is still a passionate home cook and farmers market fan. I ran the ingredients by him and offered that I might include garbanzo beans for some protein and substance. He suggested fresh peas instead. "That will make it a perfect spring time soup," he said.
I followed his advice and the soup was light and delicious. Two teens in the house also said they liked it and left two empty bowls. I plan to make it again often and vary the ingredients depending on the season.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 leek, white and light green part only, diced
3 medium sized zucchini, diced
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
3 or 4 small new potatoes, peeled and cut into fourths
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs for garnish (such as mint, basil and/or thyme)
Lemon juice to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute garlic and leeks in the olive oil until soft but not brown. Add zucchini and continue to stir for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add vegetable broth and bring to a gentle boil. Turn down heat to simmer and add potatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add peas and cook for an additional few minutes.
Puree soup in a blender to your liking. I prefer to leave some of the chunks of vegetables.
Taste and season. Before serving, add juice of half of a lemon and garnish with fresh fresh basil, mint or other herbs.
Nutrition Information (per serving)
(Using low sodium broth. Does not include added salt)