Spring Ramp, Radish & Spinach Soup

As much as I love the hearty sugar shack fare we enjoy during sugaring off season in Quebec, I’m ready to lighten up for spring.

Last weekend, we had one final maple-coated feast, which we were privileged to enjoy with Alana and family, who were passing through town. Cider-glazed ham, maple baked beans, tourtiere, and heaps of roasted asparagus with ramps kept us around the table for over an hour. Then dessert – maple taffy poured on a slab of snow from my chest freezer – kept us at the table a while longer.

Later, the children scattered to play a board game while we lingered over coffee and discussed blogging, cookbook writing, food and family. It was wonderful to have a slow afternoon, with no nagging thoughts about what I should be doing instead. Since handing in my manuscript for Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, I’ve been reveling in the spare hours and the respite from the enormous project.

It’s a new season, both out and about on the homestead, as well as in my work life of blogging and book writing. Today’s soup recipe feels like a cleanse, and in many ways it could be squarely placed in the detox camp. I wholeheartedly believe in spring cleaning my body with real foods, so consider this the beginning.

Spring vegetable soup ingredients | Simple Bites

Around the homestead, the ramps are the earliest harvest. Sure, garlic is up, rhubarb is shooting forth leaves, and the chives have re-grown, but the wild leeks are first ready for picking and come into the kitchen by way of the forest.

In the past, I’ve tossed them in a warm potato salad, sprinkled them into omelettes, and roasted them with mushrooms, but this year I had soup on the brain and I couldn’t shake the thought.

We’ve been having an absolute deluge of spring rain. It has been so damp, all I want to do is burrow under a quilt and sip tea. The craving for soup has not passed with the snow; it’s still very much alive.

Spring vegetable soup prep | Simple Bites

What is the perfect spring soup, though? This was my quandary. You can’t go wrong with a simple cream of asparagus, enhanced with a splash of white wine, but that is playing it too safe. Hearty stews? Out of the question. Chowder? Save it for corn season.

I wanted to create a soup that looked and tasted like spring. A little earthy, yet light, vibrant, and still simple. So I started with the seasonal ingredients I had on hand: small radishes, firm asparagus, tender spinach and freshly-picked ramps from my back yard. Roots, stems, leaves – everything went into the pot and melded together in a smooth and fragrant soup, ideal for the season.

making spring soup

A slice of fresh ginger root and homemade vegetable stock rounded out the soup, although chicken stock would work well, too. The vegetables were cooked gently and uncovered to preserve their colour; covering green vegetables during the cooking time leads to brown results.

Making your own vegetable stock serves two main purposes: it uses kitchen scraps that might otherwise go into the garbage or compost and it yields a fragrant broth that is suitable for a myriad of dishes. Light pasta sauces, risotto, vegetarian main dishes, and delicate soups all benefit from a homemade stock.

Spring vegetable soup #paleo #vegetarian #gf

This ramp, radish & spinach soup turned out to be exactly what I was craving: undeniably healthy, but comforting, too. It was a spring in a spoon, even though the rain continued to fall and the light in my dining room remained moody.

A splash of rice vinegar and a generous portion of sea salt balanced out the sheer amount of vegetables in the mix and the ginger root came through subtly but unmistakably. This one is going in the books for an official post-sugaring off detox dish.

Spring Ramp, Radish & Spinach Soup

An unequivocally healthy spring dish featuring the roots, stems and leaves of seasonal produce that meld into a smooth and fragrant soup.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soups & Stews
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 39kcal
Author: Aimee

Ingredients

  • 6-8 young ramps or green onions, washed
  • 1 small bundle fresh radishes washed
  • 1 small bundle asparagus
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice fresh ginger root
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh mint to garnish

Instructions

  • Divide ramps between greens and stem. Reserve the greens; chop the stems. Trim the ends off the radishes and slice in half.
  • Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Peel the bottom two thirds of each spear, then chop in pieces.
  • In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the ramp stems and the radishes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour in the vegetable stock; add the ginger root and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
  • Add the ramp greens and the spinach to the pot. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the soup to a high-powered blender and liquify. Blend it long enough so there are no fibres remaining.
  • Pour in the rice vinegar and salt. Blend again and taste the soup. Sprinkle in additional salt to taste if desired. Pour soup back into the pot and keep on low until ready to serve.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh mint.

Notes

This soup is best enjoyed the day it is made. The flavours hold up well on the second day, but the colour is less vibrant.

Nutrition

Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1310mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3570IU | Vitamin C: 11.1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Do you have a preferred soup in spring? Which vegetables are making their way into your kitchen this month?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. What a healthy beautiful soup! I am pinning this to my soups board!

  2. Such a lovely soup! Wishing I had a batch in my crock pot right now!


  3. You already turned in your manuscript?! I’m so jealous! Congrats 🙂 Enjoy the much-needed time off 🙂

  4. Love this spring soup!

  5. I definitely need to do some spring cleaning in my body as well! This looks so pretty and perfect.

  6. Love this soup Aimee, also the idea of foraging for my own ramps. Beautiful color, looks so healthy!

  7. Perfect spring soup! I love the color and all the ingredients. This is something I can get behind on a sunny or cloudy day!

  8. The color of this soup is amazing! I’m so jealous of that big bunch of ramps in that picture. I wish I could find them around here….sigh.

  9. Not only does this look super good, but man–this is total powerfood! LOVE.

  10. It’s snowing today & we could totally dive into this warming soup!

  11. this is so pretty! I want to run right down to the farmers market and get ramps!

  12. Oh this looks so good! Fresh and warming all at the same time.

  13. Not ramps unfortunately, though I’d love to taste them someday. I haven’t seen any here in the prairies. Peas are my gateway to spring, as I await the opening of farmers markets in the next month or so. I will be trying this soup with green onions!

  14. We’re a bit behind you on the spring vegetables but this soup looks perfect for when they do show up.

    Yay for slower afternoons, I can only imagine how good that feels. Congrats!

    • Slow afternoons feels great. 🙂

      We’re not getting local asparagus yet, either. This is from California….but it shouldn’t be too long now!

  15. Such a gorgeous soup. I love the heavy spring flavors!

  16. Im so glad you are finally getting to enjoy a bit of spring. Your soup looks gorgeous, and just the thing for a spring tonic.

  17. Russell at Chasing Delicious says

    Such a great collection of fresh spring recipes right now. And this soup sounds killer! I will most definitely be adding this to my make-soon list.

  18. What a fabulous spring soup!

  19. Here’s to homemade veg stock!

    Sadly, in our little part of the world, the ramps have been over foraged. There are certainly those that grow their own but the markets haven’t seen any. Looks like I know what to plant for next year.

    This also looks in-freakin-credible.


  20. I made this the other day only with green onions (no ramps here) and I used a mix of greens including kale, spinach and lettuces. It turned out lovely. I cut the recipe in half and it made exactly 2 cups which was perfect for our lunch. I served it with crunchy croutons. My husband even liked it and that means it is 5 star! I love your fresh, inventive recipes using whole foods ingredients. Please keep those recipes coming!

  21. Aimee! We are always looking for sugar-free, mostly-vegan dishes to try and this looks amazing! I need more green in my life, and these ingredients are all going on our shopping list for next week! Thanks for sharing this recipe 🙂 I hope it’s as good as it looks!

  22. Great recipe! I rarely make soups because they always seem long to prepare but once I do, I just really enjoy eating it 🙂

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