Total Time: 45 minutes
This is a perfect stew to transition from winter to spring after you’ve been eating heavy-hearty stews for the past few months. Traditional stews are usually a mixture of meat and vegetables slowly simmered until all the flavors bind into one. This stew is quick to make, filling, and refreshing. A generous amount of oil and butter will add richness. The root vegetables will thicken the strew slightly, making it feel likes like a soup. The vibrant colors of the mixed vegetables in this Early Spring Vegetable Stew will remind us that shorter days will soon become the longer and colder days will become much warmer. I suggest using basil or mint, but you can use whatever fresh tender herbs you have around. The combination of freshly squeezed lemon juice, parsley, and crème fraîche this will elevate the flavors of the stew. This stew only takes about 45 minutes to make from start to finish. You’ll be able to enjoy more of that spring time sunshine, because you won’t have to wait for hours for your meal to be ready.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
2 small Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch half-moon-wedges
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch half-moon-wedges
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 lb of oyster mushrooms, hand torn lengthwise into small strips
1 quart of vegetable stock
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths (woody part removed)
1 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch-long sticks
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 bunch of scallions, white and light green section only, cut into 1 sections
1/2 cup snow peas, discard the stem end and string
Juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
For the garnish:
4 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
4 handfuls fresh mint or basil leaves
In a enameled cast-iron dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Toss in the potatoes and turnips. Stir gently, season with salt, and cook in the oil until the potatoes becomes slightly translucent (about 5-8 minutes).
Add in the mushrooms cook for about 5 more minutes
Poor in the stock. cover with a lid. Turn the head down to a low simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes and turnips are tender.
Remove the lid. Add the asparagus, carrots, and zucchini. Let cook for 5 more minutes uncovered, until the asparagus is cooked through but still retains it’s shape and color.
Toss in the scallions and sugar snap peas. Let simmer on low for a couple more minutes, until the snow peas becomes a bright green color and warms through.
Turn off the heat, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and season with and and pepper.
Divide the soup into four bowls, and garnish each bowl with a dollop of crème fraîche, sprinkle of chopped parsley, and a handful of mint or basil leaves.