Spring Vegetable Soup

Spring has arrived, and with longer days and warmer weather comes a new crop of fresh produce. It’s the perfect season to “spring clean” your diet. Fruits and Vegetables that are in-season reap the most nutritional value. Since lima beans are difficult to find fresh, I used frozen beans. You can substitute fresh fava beans in this soup.
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Spring Vegetable Soup

Serves 6

1 Tbs olive oil
2 large leeks (white & pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped peeled carrots
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
10-oz package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
5 oz green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz asparagus, tough ends trimmed, spears cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Parmesan cheese, optional

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and carrot; sauté until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Add lima beans and green beans and simmer until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add asparagus and 1/3 cup basil and simmer until all vegetables are very tender, about 7 minutes longer. Season soup with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup basil. Ladle soup into bowls. Serve, passing Parmesan separately, if desired.

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