Spring Vegetable-Bean Soup

Italians classify soups as either zuppa, a thick soup, or minestra, a soup in which the ingredients stand out from the broth. This minestra-style side-dish soup plays up asparagus, fava beans, and young artichokes, with a hint of fresh fennel and pancetta for flavor.

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  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Start to Finish: 35 mins

Spring Vegetable-Bean Soup

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Directions

  1. Remove tough outer green leaves from artichokes. The inside leaves will be more tender and greenish-yellow. Snip off about 1 inch from the top leaf tops, cutting where the green meets the yellow. Trim the stems. Quarter the artichokes lengthwise and set aside.
  2. In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine broth, onions, pancetta or bacon, fennel seed, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add artichokes and beans; cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and fennel; cook for 5 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.
  3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with snipped fennel leaves. Makes 8 side-dish servings.

From the Test Kitchen

*

To cook fresh or frozen fava or lima beans, simmer, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 15 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. When cool, remove skins from fava beans. For 2 cups of cooked fava beans, purchase 2 pounds of fava beans in the pod.

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Nutrition Facts (Spring Vegetable-Bean Soup)

  • Per serving:
  • 152 kcal ,
  • 3 g fat
  • (1 g sat. fat ,
  • 4 mg chol. ,
  • 695 mg sodium ,
  • 21 g carb. ,
  • 6 g fiber ,
  • 11 g pro.
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