Spring Vegetable Soup Mise en Place

Spring Vegetable Soup

I enjoy walking down the hill in my neighborhood to go to the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sundays. Sometimes I have a plan and other times I choose things on a whim. The weather was particularly beautiful this week and I found myself choosing gentle green flavors that celebrate the simplicity of the season. When I got back home I had several bags of vegetables and no firm plan. So I did what I usually do in that situation. I laid out my knife, a vegetable peeler, my favorite veg only cutting board, a big bowl for scraps, and a dozen little bowls for my handiwork. The resulting mise en place became the inspiration for this Spring Vegetable Soup.

Mise en place literally translates as “put in place”, but I’ve heard it described as “take time to save time”. For me mise en place is also a cathartic time. A time when other stresses are set aside and kitchen creativity flourishes. The very process of washing, peeling, cutting and measuring helps me organize my thinking. By the time the mise en place is “in place” I usually have a plan and the final preparation becomes simple.

Spring Vegetable Soup

This Spring Vegetable Soup is one of those free-form affairs, so feel free to make substitutions based on whatever you have on hand or according to the season and your tastes. This Spring Vegetable Soup leaves plenty of room for you to “feel” your way through the preparation. The only hint I have to offer is to sort the vegetables you choose for this soup according to their cooking times. Some vegetables are sturdy enough to handle a sauté, others may need to be pre-cooked or blanched. In this recipe I blanched the fava beans because I didn’t want to overcook them. Everything else I diced small or sliced thinly so they would cook quickly and maintain their individual textures and flavors. Taking my time with the mise en place made it simple to make this soup by instinct rather than by rote. GREG

Spring Vegetable Soup

Spring Vegetable Soup 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–6Source Inspired by Martha Stewart LivingPublished

If you choose to slice the potatoes thicker than “paper thin” add them a few minutes before the asparagus, snap peas, and English peas.

Spring Vegetable Soup


  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 2½ ounce carrot (peeled and diced small)
  • 2½ ounce baby turnip (peeled and diced small)
  • 1½ ounce celery stalk (thinly sliced)
  • 1 ounce spring onion or scallions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
  • salt and pepper (as needed for seasoning)
  • 4 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cup water
  • 4 ounce trimmed asparagus (cut into 1 ½‑inch pieces)
  • 4 ounce sugar snap peas (cut on a diagonal into ½‑inch pieces)
  • 3 ounce shelled and blanched fresh English peas
  • 2 ounce scrubbed baby red poatoes (cut paper thin, see note)
  • 2 ounce shelled, blanched and peeled fava beans
  • ½ ounce fresh celery leaves (thinly sliced crosswise)
  • fresh dill leaves (as needed)
  • lemon slices (as needed for spritzing)
  • toasted rustic bread (on the side)


Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium soup pot set over medium heat. Add carrot, turnip, sliced celery stalk, spring onion, garlic, and a pinch each salt and pepper; stir to coat in oil then cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

Add the broth and water, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add asparagus, snap peas, blanched English peas and potato slices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are bright green and the potatoes are cooked, about 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in blanched fava beans and celery leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a generous sprinkling of fresh dill, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a spritz of lemon. Serve immediately with toasted bread.

Spring Vegetable Soup