Spring soup is a soup which is designed to showcase ingredients which come into season in the spring. The focus in on using ingredients which are as fresh and flavorful as possible, so that consumers have a chance to celebrate the arrival of spring with new flavors. Especially in regions with rough winters, a spring soup can be a welcome sight, and a reminder that all winters must eventually come to an end.
These soups come in a range of styles, but most are designed to be light and delicate, consumed for flavor rather than strictly for nourishment, in contrast with winter soups. Winter soups tend to be heavy and fortifying, with the intent of warming people and providing them with plenty of nutrition, while a spring soup is more light and playful. In a sense, it is a celebratory soup, consumed to welcome the arrival of fresh weather.
At its most basic, a spring soup simply showcases a single ingredient, which may be pureed, included in a chowder, cooked in a bisque, or served with a light broth. Asparagus soup is a well-known example of a spring soup, but spring soups can also feature leeks, tender greens, baby carrots, peas, pea shoots, new potatoes, and a wide variety of other ingredients. As a general rule, spring vegetables are tender and often a bit sweet, enhancing the flavor of the soups they are served in.
In many cases, a spring soup is served cold, acting as a refreshing soup. In especially warm weather, a cool spring soup can be a great lunch meal, and it can also be served as an appetizer before a more complex meal, classically also featuring seasonally available vegetables. Spring soups can also feature fruits; a dessert soup made with new strawberries, for example, is classified as a spring soup.
A spring soup can also be hot or warm, in which case it tends to be a bit more heavy and complex. Chowders made with fresh spring vegetables, for example, can be quite rich, especially when served with cheese or added croutons and other dressings.
Imagination is the limit when making spring soup. The best way to make this soup is to visit a local farmers' market or farm stand and pick up the ingredients which look the most fresh. Starting with those ingredients as a base, you can think about the best sort of soup broth to use for them, whether its a dense creamy chowder, a light broth, an ethnically inspired base, or a cool bouillon.