The cure for Monday blahs: great spring soups

Rainy days and Mondays…
Dazzle the drizzle.
Enjoy some comfort-food soup to chase away the Monday blahs.
Seasonally perfect.  And for small plates too.
Add some bruschetta or crostini, a simple salad…perfect for dinner or casual Monday night supper. Bon appetit!
The Menu Shoppe has it covered… great finds for great menus…dazzle daily specials on our LED Board.
Buttermilk biscuits as accompaniment?
Buttermilk Soup with Cucumber and Crab
3 large cucumbers (about 2 1/2 pounds) peeled, seeded
1 cup low-fat (1%) buttermilk
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
8 ounces crabmeat, drained
1 ripe tomato, seeded, chopped
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Chop 2 1/4 cucumbers. Purée chopped cucumbers, buttermilk, yogurt, onion and cumin in blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover; chill until very cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated). Finely chop remaining
3/4 cucumber. Mound crabmeat in center of 8 bowls, dividing equally. Ladle cold soup around crabmeat. Sprinkle with tomato, green onions and finely chopped cucumber.
Sprightly seasonal.
Creamy Spring Onion Soup
4 bunches scallions—
white and tender green parts cut into 1-inch lengths, green tops thinly sliced
4 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups water
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces fresh goat cheese (1/4 cup), softened
In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the white and tender green parts of the scallions, along with the leeks, fennel and onion–season with salt and white pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, 15 minutes. Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced to a few tablespoons, 12 minutes. Add the water and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender and pale green, 15 minutes. Add the scallion green tops and cook just until softened, 2 minutes.  Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. Season with salt and white pepper.  In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the goat cheese. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, drizzle with the creamed goat cheese and serve.
NOTE:  The soup and creamed goat cheese can be refrigerated separately overnight. Reheat the soup before serving.
A triple delight!
Three Onion Soup
4 medium leeks
2 large shallots (1/4 pound), thinly sliced
1 small onion (1/4 pound), thinly sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup nonfat chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 large boiling potato such as Yukon Gold
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup grated Gruyère
Chop enough white and pale green parts of leeks to measure 2 cups. Wash leeks well in a bowl of cold water. Lift from water and drain in a colander. Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook chopped leeks, onion, and shallots with salt and pepper to taste, stirring frequently, until edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and deglaze skillet, scraping up brown bits. Transfer mixture to a saucepan. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Add potato, broth, and remaining cup water to onions. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender. Purée 1‚ cups soup in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and stir into remaining soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve soup sprinkled with cheese and drizzled with vinegar.
NOTE: Soup may be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely before being chilled, covered. Reheat, covered, over low heat.
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