Monday, 27 January 2020

Primavera soup with gremolata

Today I bring to you a satisfying spring soup I made in November.  It was full of green vegies, hearty enough with orzo to make a meal, but light enough for spring weather and the addition of gremolata to be full of flavour.

At the end of a busy weekend, I went all domestic goddess and made the stock from some vegies in the fridge that were looking sad.  I have included this stock recipe below too but I understand only too well that many of us don't have time to make our own stock these days.  It is a treat when I get to do it.  And I really only did it to use up vegies. 

The stock was inspired when I decided to make a big pot of dinner to last the week.  On the Saturday  I had no energy for cooking after using it up tidying the house, kid wrangling, organising Sylvia's room, exploring Sydney Road with a colleague, sitting for 30 minutes reading my book in queue for the car wash (after a crazy dusty rain), and getting a tad over zealous with the gardening and finding that I had weeded out some nasturtiums that a neighbour had planted in our communal garden.  I was so tired and felt I needed more vegies!

On Sunday I was determined to plan before I hit the supermarket and all its temptations.  So I had a quiet lunch pouring over some of my much-neglected cookbooks for inspiration.  (I really need to consult the four shelves of cookbooks more!)  I found a recipe that would use up some of the ingredients in my fridge, including putting those sad vegies into stock.  I also added some macadamia butter just because I had some.  I thought it would make it creamy but it was more like adding finely chopped nuts.

Spring is always a time of tender green vegies and I am often so busy in the run up to Christmas and the end of the year that I don't take enough advantage of it.  This was a great soup for appreciating all those spring vegies, especially asparagus.  However, like some many dishes with green vegies, the green dimmed once it was cooked.

The recipe I found had pangratto as a garnish.  It was fiddly enough to pronounce, let alone to try and make as well as a soup.  I decided to go for a simpler gremolata.  The grematola had wonderful green colour and fresh, instense, herby, citrussy flavours.  It finished off the meal nicely.  I loved the soup which was wonderful with home made stock.  It was a lot more brothy than most soups I make but it was quite comforting, either fresh or reheated after being frozen!

More green meals on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Primavera soup with gremolata
Adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly
Serves 4-6

30g butter
2 shallots (125g), chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
2 medium (350g) zucchinis 
3/4 cup risoni pasta
150 gram asparagus, cut into 3cm lengths
2 cup (240g) frozen baby peas
1 cup chopped baby spinach
2 dessertspoons of macadamia butter (optional)

Melt butter in large saucepan.  Cook shallots over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add stock and bring to the boil.  Add zucchini and simmer 5 minutes.  Stir in asparagus and peas and simmer a further 5 minutes or until vegies tender.  Remove from heat and stir in spinach and macadamia butter.  Serve sprinkled with gremolata.  Can be frozen.

1/2 bunch parsley
zest of half a lemon
1 small garlic clove

Finely chop all ingredients together.

Vegetable Stock

1 onion
3 stalks celery
2 carrots
4-5 small garlic cloves
1 tomato
stem of red capsicum (optional)
3 bay leaves
3 stalks of thyme leaves
5cm stalk of rosemary
2-3 stalks of parsley
6 cups water
salt and pepper, to taste

Chop all vegies and place in pan with herbs and water.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.  Drain and discard vegetables.  (I cook mine in a stockpot with a pasta insert so I can remove the pasta insert and vegetables together for easy draining.)  Season. 

On the Stereo:
Tigerlily: Natalie Merchant


  1. Your soup looks scrumptious! I am at the moment making _winter_ soup, in which I will put some chicken stock I made a couple of chickens ago. Thank heaven for frozen peas in all seasons!

    best... mae at

  2. This looks so bright and fresh. I am sure it was delicious.

  3. Such a lovely green soup lifted with gremolata and wonderfully presented.

  4. Wow die Gremolata hat geschmeckt wie echt im Hotel in Sölden - War begeistert. Thanks for sharing!


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