This easy light soup uses both spinach and sugar snap peas. If you don’t have leeks on hand, try regular onions or shallots. The flavor will be altered, but the soup will still be very good.
1/4 pound pasta, such as farfalloni or orcchiette
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved diagonally
10 ounces baby spinach (or larger leaves coarsely chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until almost al dente; drain. Transfer to a bowl and cover.
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the leek; cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 1 minute. Add the stock, cover and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar snap peas and cook over moderate heat just until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pasta, spinach, lemon juice and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking just until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve.
From “Food & Wine” magazine, May 2002.