Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Food Styling by Molly Baz
This fresh, vegetable-packed soup is perfect for those chilly spring days when you're craving a bowl of something warm. A drizzle of lemony dill pesto and slivers of Parmesan add a bright finishing touch.
- 6–8 servings
- Active Time
- 40 minutes
- Total Time
- 1 hour 20 minutes
- 2 medium leeks, dark green parts removed
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated
- 3 oz. bacon, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 small fennel bulbs, finely chopped, fronds reserved
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp. plus 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 cup dried large lima beans, soaked overnight
- 3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 8 oz. Romano beans, cut into 1″ pieces
- 8 oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed, halved crosswise
- 1/2 small bunch dill
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 oz. Parmesan, shaved
- Toasted crusty bread (for serving)
- Quarter leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2″ pieces. Rinse leeks in a fine-mesh strainer and pat dry with paper towels. Smash garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife and peel; set 2 cloves aside.
- Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat, stirring, until golden brown and starting to crisp, 8–10 minutes. Add smashed garlic and 2 Tbsp. oil and cook, stirring often, until garlic is just beginning to turn golden 3–4 minutes. Add leeks, chopped fennel, celery, thyme, bay leaf, and 1 Tbsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add lima beans, red pepper flakes, and 6 cups water and bring to a simmer. Partially cover pot, reduce heat to low, and gently simmer, occasionally skimming and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until beans are slightly crunchy but not quite creamy, 25 minutes. Add Romano beans and snap peas, return to a simmer, and continue to cook, adding just enough water to keep beans submerged, until dried beans are creamy and fresh beans are just cooked through, about 15 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, pulse dill, zest of whole lemon, fennel fronds, and 1 reserved garlic clove in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, stream in 1/2 cup oil. Add 3/4 tsp. salt and squeeze in 2 tsp. lemon juice. Transfer pesto to a small bowl and set aside.
- Remove stew from heat and stir in crème fraîche, black pepper, and 4 tsp. lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Rub bread with remaining garlic clove, drizzle with oil, and season lightly with salt.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with pesto, then top with shaved Parmesan. Serve with garlic bread and remaining pesto alongside.