I love a Spring Minestrone with beautiful seasonal vegetables and rice for the perfect Spring meal!
1 cup frozen fava beans*, and/or fresh shelled or frozen English peas, thawed
8 cups homemade chicken broth
¼ cup white rice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup sliced shallots
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (we used shiitake, but use your favorite)
8 asparagus spears, sliced into approx. ½ inch pieces (woody ends trimmed, heads kept intact)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¾ cup crushed tomatoes
Grated Parmesan, for sprinkling
Parsley leaves, for garnish
In a large pot over high heat, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the rice and boil for as long as your rice’s cooking instructions indicate, usually 12 to 15 minutes. When there are 3 more minutes left to go per your rice’s cooking instructions, add the fava beans or English peas and cook for the remaining 3 minutes or until the rice and the beans/peas are cooked to your liking.
While the rice is cooking, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil. Once the butter melts, add the shallots and sauté until caramelized and soft, for about 4 minutes. In the same pan add the mushrooms and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the asparagus and 1 teaspoon of salt and continue to cook for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the asparagus is crisp-tender. Lastly, add the garlic and stir to combine, cooking for about 30 seconds.
Finally, stir the crushed tomatoes and the vegetables from the sauté pan into the hot soup. Serve immediately and garnish with parmesan and parsley.
If you’re lucky enough to find fresh fava beans: Prepare a medium bowl of ice water.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil with 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the shelled fava beans, and blanch until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the ice water for 1 minute. Drain and then pop each of the favas from their skins. Set aside.
Keywords: spring minestrone, soup