As I write this article on yet another cold springtime morning, I’m reminded of just how transitional this time of year feels. While supermarket selections seem to be ushering in warmer weather, we must admit that a 40-degree day doesn’t exactly say “spring.”
If there is one part of winter that we may not want to give up it’s the ease of a seasonal soup for dinner. When paired with an entrée salad or small plate, soups are ideal for rounding out a meal. While you may not desire a hot, hearty soup this time of year, you can still enjoy springtime soups that remind you summer is around the corner.
It may not be the first attribute you think of, but simply shifting the color of your soups to match the date on the calendar is a way to transition your soup menu. Try vibrant green soups like Avocado Buttermilk Soup with Crab Salad (recipe below) or Fresh Pea Soup. *
The easiest way to transition a soup to warmer weather is to let go of hot soups that warm your body and switch to cooler soups that refresh you. Or consider versatile soups (such as Grilled Tomato Gazpacho*) that can be enjoyed room temperature or cold.
Rich in Veggies
While we may want a soup or stew that’s rich in meat, beans, and other hearty ingredients in the winter, the summer calls for soups that deliver fresh veggies and fill us up without weighing us down. As spring turns to summer, look for fresh sweet corn or tomatoes to make lighter versions of the cold soup or chowder you enjoy in winter weather.
In some cases, there may be significant changes that need to be made to create a spring soup, especially if you desire a fruit-based or cold soup. In other cases, you may use the same ingredients, but simply lighten the broth or thin it out a bit more (as is suggested for the recipe below or in the tomato-based Fish Chowder*).
Easy to Prepare
While we may want a soup or stew to simmer stovetop for hours on a cold, winter day, our spring soups should come together easily with little “hands on” time. After all, we’ve waited months to enjoy warm sunshine, so we want to be outdoors to enjoy it, rather than inside cooking.
*Please visit GuidingStars.com to find recipes for the soups mentioned in this article.
As your local Hannaford Dietitian, I’m pleased to be sharing my advice and simple tips. Please visit www.hannaford.com/dietitians for my in-store schedule of classes, demonstrations, and store tours or call (845) 855-0553 for more information.
This simple, no-cook vibrant green soup is garnished with delicious orange-infused crabmeat. If the soup seems a little too thick, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more buttermilk. Visit GuidingStars.com for more seasonal soups and information about the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program.
Avocado Buttermilk Soup with Crab Salad (2 Guiding Stars)
3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatillos
1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 ripe peeled avocados, pitted
1 serrano pepper, seeded
1 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
8 ounces lump crabmeat from a can, drained and shell pieces removed
Place first 7 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.
Combine bell pepper and remaining ingredients; toss gently to combine. Spoon about 3/4 cup soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1/3 cup crabmeat mixture.