Food: Spring into Spring with these light recipes

Linda Hoffman
Published 6:47 a.m. MT March 14, 2018


Food columnist Linda Hoffman shares her weekly recipes column for the Coloradoan.

Spring is technically next week, and although we know that more winter can be ahead of us, hope springs eternal. 

Aside from coatless children playing outside and crocus blooming, we begin to see evidence of spring in the produce section with fresher greens and the early robust stalks of asparagus. 


It prompts us to try a few new recipes.

Spring Onion Soup with Spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 bunches green onions

3 leeks, white and pale green parts only

1 smallish onion, sliced thinly

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup crème fraîche

3 cups stemmed and chopped fresh spinach leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crumbled goat cheese

Slice the green onions and leeks thinly. Reserve the sliced green tops of the green onions.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and stir in the onion, white parts of the green onions, and the leeks with a pinch of sea salt. Cook until softened over medium heat, about 5-7 minutes. 

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Puree the soup in a blender in batches, pulsing to puree to prevent splashing soup over the cabinets and countertop.  Return to the pot and bring back to a boil.

Stir in the chopped spinach and reduce the heat to simmer, cooking just until the spinach is tender but still bright green. Stir in the crème fraîche and heat through. Taste and correct salt balance as needed.

Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with the green onion tops, freshly ground black pepper, and crumbled goat cheese.

Scallops with Asparagus and Mushrooms

1 ½ – 2 pounds large sea scallops (preferably dry scallops)

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed

4 ounces cremini mushrooms, washed, trimmed and sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of ½ lemon

½ cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon avocado oil

3 tablespoons pastured butter

Trim the asparagus spears and peel with a vegetable peeler if they are the large spears. 

Bring one inch of water to a boil in a large skillet. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and the asparagus, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Remove the tough muscle from the side of each scallop, if present, and season with salt. 

Wipe the skillet dry with a paper towel and add the oil and 1 tablespoon butter until hot but not smoking. Season the scallops with salt and add to the pan in batches to avoid crowding or the scallops will steam instead of brown.

Brown on both sides, turning only once, and remove to a plate. Brown the rest of the scallops in batches and set aside. They will not be fully cooked.

Add the rest of the butter to the pan and stir in the mushroom slices with a pinch of salt.  Cook until softened.

Add the wine and lemon juice, asparagus and scallops and cook until hot through, 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!

Fort Collins chef Linda Hoffman teaches cooking classes emphasizing dinners in 30 minutes or less. Visit

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