Hearty, yet fresh soup fit for cool spring nights

ALISON LADMAN, Associated PressMarch 19, 2014 

The warm days and cool nights of spring can make for challenging dinners. During the days, we want to be outside enjoying the sun, but the evenings call for something warm and comforting. Trouble is, warm and comforting dinners require time at the stove.

Our solution? A quick and easy soup that is jammed with fresh vegetables and comes together in about 30 minutes. We combine seasonally perfect asparagus with the sweet taste of frozen corn and a heap of fresh thyme. The result is light, yet fresh and filling. If you want to bulk it up a bit, shrimp or diced chicken would be a great addition.

Spring Corn Soup with Asparagus

Start to finish: 30 minutes. Servings: 6.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
16 ounces frozen baby corn
Salt and ground black pepper

In a large stockpot over medium, heat the oil. Add the shallots, garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the onion is tender and translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the asparagus, thyme and corn, then cook just until the asparagus is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories; 30 calories from fat (23 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 6 g protein; 280 mg sodium.

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