A sprightly soup

Lately, I've been reminiscing about muffins and pasta from the past, pretzels and pie of yore. But today, I want to talk about the here and now. Or at least the last week.

I made this soup right before I went to work and it was nothing short of outstanding. Chock-a-block full of delicate green herbs and vegetables - peas, fava beans, parsley, cilantro, mint - and finished with a sparkling shot of lemon juice, it is sprightly and refreshing. Crispbread shattered over the steaming soup provides  crunch before it succumbs and sinks into the warm broth. I was running late so I had no choice but to slurp this down, but I suggest that you sit back and savour it.

Lebanese Spring Vegetable Soup

I could have included the recipe for homemade pita or flatbread from Moro: The Cookbook but I decided that most of you would find that a bit too ambitious. However, if you're eager for a challenge, let me know and I can pass the recipe on to you.

Make sure you have all your vegetables prepared and ready to go before you start the soup. It takes mere minutes. Oh, and I neglected to include directions for trimming artichokes but if you're looking for a helpful guide may I suggest you take a look at this.

For the crispbread:
25g unsalted butter
2 pita breads

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the butter while warming the pita breads in the oven for a couple minutes. Split each in half lengthwise, then brush on both sides with melted butter. Slice each in half again lengthwise, then cut each piece into four or five triangles. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. 

For the soup:
1 quantity of crispbread
1 litre good-quality chicken stock, preferably homemade
150g podded young broad beans (peeled as well, if large)
150g shelled peas, fresh or frozen
5 green asparagus spears, woody stems snapped off at base, cut into ~3/4 inch pieces
2 raw globe artichokes, trimmed, cut into quarters and very thinly sliced
1 large bunch each of fresh mint, flat-leaf parsley and cilantro, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
sea salt and black pepper

When the crispbread is ready, heat the chicken stock in a large saucepan and check for seasoning. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the broad beans, peas, asparagus and artichokes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and add the herbs, spring onions, lemon juice and crispbread broken into small pieces. Season again, and serve hot.

Serves 4.

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