Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange, and Cucumber
This Southwestern-inspired soup hits all the right notes: solid protein from the beans, crunchiness from the cucumber, creaminess from the avocado, a sweet hit of acidity from the citrus, and a hint of spice.
Think of this as “new and improved” borscht, with fruit and mint added for freshness and subtle spices for intrigue. If you like, roast extra beets to eat later in the week; they keep several days in the refrigerator.
The variety of the vegetables, two kinds of legumes, and the Italian trick of cooking a bit of parmesan rind in the soup for added flavor create a palate-pleasing minestrone miles beyond the bland bean-and-pasta version so often served. The soup is flexible too; add your favorite vegetables or use whatever is bountiful in your garden this harvest.
Romesco is a classic Spanish sauce made of ground tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, and almonds. We turned it into a twist on cream of tomato soup, with lentils added for a nice protein boost. Choose the vegetable broth option.
This riff on Spain’s classic tangy-sweet “white” gazpacho is made with Persian cucumbers, which are tender enough to use peel and all. (If you can’t find them, substitute peeled English cucumbers.) The drizzle of olive oil at the end brings the flavors together, so use the best oil in your pantry.
A popular Japanese winter dish, warm soba with toppings is just the thing for lunch on an overcast day. The broth is made with dashi, a staple soup base whose delicate flavor comes from dried bonito tuna flakes and seaweed.
This lovely soup is practically spring in a bowl. To make it heartier, scatter quartered cherry tomatoes and croutons on top. Snap peas often have a fibrous string that runs down the pod's straight side; to remove it, snap off the stem end and pull down sharply.