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Spring Vegetable Soup

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  1. 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  2. 2 small leeks, trimmed and diced
  3. 1/2 pound tender asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  4. 1 cup freshly shelled young peas
  5. 1 ounce fresh sorrel or borage leaves
  6. Kosher salt
  7. 2 quarts water
  8. 1 pound fresh young spinach leaves
  9. 1 ounce watercress, stemmed
  10. Ice
  11. Freshly ground pepper
  12. 1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  13. Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  1. Warm the pure olive oil in a heavy, nonreactive 6-quart saucepan. Add the leeks, asparagus, peas, sorrel and 2 teaspoons salt and cook until warmed through. Add 1 cup of the water, cover and sweat the vegetables over moderate heat until the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining 7 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the spinach and watercress. Cook, stirring to submerge the leaves, until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the soup to a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice. Stir the soup frequently to chill it quickly and thoroughly. Once it is completely cold, pour the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To serve, gently reheat the soup. Spoon it into warmed soup plates or bowls. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of the ricotta and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Chef Paul Bertolli chose a Roero Arneis from Bruno Giacosa for the soup course because the spicy pear flavor of the Arneis grape matches the peppery note from the cress in the soup. A grassy Sauvignon Blanc would work nicely too.