Spring Vegetable-Bean Soup
Start to Finish: 35 min.

Ingredients
12 baby artichokes
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup small boiling onions, peeled and halved, or pearl onions
4 ounces pancetta or 5 slices crisp-cooked bacon, drained and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cooked* or canned fava or lima beans, rinsed and drained
12 ounces fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
1/4 cup snipped fennel leaves

Directions
1. Remove tough outer green leaves from artichokes. The inside leaves will be more tender and greenish-yellow. Snip off about 1 inch from the top leaf tops, cutting where the green meets the yellow. Trim the stems. Quarter the artichokes lengthwise and set aside.

2. In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine broth, onions, pancetta or bacon, fennel seed, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add artichokes and beans; cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and fennel; cook for 5 minutes more or until vegetables are tender.

3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Top with snipped fennel leaves. Makes 8 side-dish servings.

*Note: To cook fresh or frozen fava or lima beans, simmer, covered, in a small amount of boiling water for 15 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. When cool, remove skins from fava beans. For 2 cups of cooked fava beans, purchase 2 pounds of fava beans in the pod.

Nutrition facts per serving:
calories: 152
total fat: 3g
saturated fat: 1g
cholesterol: 4mg
sodium: 695mg
carbohydrate: 21g
fiber: 6g
protein: 11g
vitamin A: 3%
vitamin C: 28%
calcium: 5%
iron: 15%

Source: Better Homes and Gardens