April vegetable soups are light and brothy compared to winter’s dense stews. Here is a favorite, highlighting spring’s fennel, leeks, romaine lettuce, sugar snap peas, spinach, fava beans, and dill. What’s lovely about this soup is the unexpected crunchiness of the romaine ribs and the creaminess of the avocado. For extra richness, I cooked the vegetables with both olive oil and homemade ghee. Inspired in part by a March 2014 recipe in Sunset magazine.
- extra-virgin olive oil and/or ghee
- potatoes, diced
- mushrooms, sliced
- fennel bulb, diced
- romaine lettuce
- leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced thinly
- lemon zest
- chopped fresh dill
- freshly ground pepper
- homemade vegetable stock, store-bought broth, or water
- sugar snap peas, sliced thinly
- fava beans, single-shelled
- spinach, sliced thinly
- avocado, cut into cubes
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, and fennel. Cook until vegetables are softened. Meanwhile, cut the ribs from the romaine leaves and finely chop the ribs and leaves, keeping them separate.
- Add the ribs to the pot along with the leeks, lemon zest, dill, and salt and pepper; stir and cook a minute or two. Add the stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Stir in sugar snap peas and fava beans and cook for a minute or two until fava beans are completely soft. Add spinach and lettuce leaves and stir until just wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top each bowl with avocado and more fresh dill.