What to Eat: Spring Comfort Foods

From a creamy soup to an asparagus-heavy risotto and a pudding with rhubarb, here are five seasonal recipes that perfectly satisfy.

Spring Pea Soupby Laura Pensiero

Who would have thought the perfect dish for spring would come in a bowl? This talented chef and restaurateur does, and offers just the right recipe.

Soup is a cold-weather standby, and when spring finally arrives it’s only natural that the dish—along with the heavy braised meats and slow-roasted vegetables that are seasonal staples—be given the old heave-ho. Still, nothing quite satisfies the way a rich, velvety soup does. The seasonal solution? Soup made with seasonal vegetables! Bright green, sweet, fresh peas are now available in farmers’ markets and grocery stores around the country, and are a terrific base for a creamy, bright soup that’s sure to make any residual winter blues disappear.

Click here for the recipe.

Asparagus, Mint, and Lemon Risottoby Jamie Oliver

The man who is all things healthy these days knows his vegetables, and also knows how to revive the classic risotto with some seasonal ingredients.

When asparagus season strikes, it’s hard not to want to consume as much as possible. But no matter how delicious asparagus are simply steamed and served with a drizzle of olive oil, or even with the richer and classic hollandaise sauce, sometimes a plain serving can get, well, dull. Enter the risotto. Charged with bright mint and lemon and studded with asparagus tips and stalks, this spring dish is clean, simple, and downright tasty. And while this recipe is a great way to breathe new life into your asparagus repertoire, it’s also a fantastic risotto that you’ll find yourself making again and again.

Click here for the recipe.

Springtime Vegetable Pot Pieby Elinor Klivans

The most important (and delicious) part of Pot Pie should be the crust, hands down, and this French-trained pastry chef shares how to do it right.

Pot pies are another food that one only imagines eating in the colder seasons. But what if those very same pot pies were filled with artichokes, peas, green beans, new potatoes, and fresh herbs, instead of heavy meats and root vegetables? And what if the crust were not a dense pastry, but a light cream cheese crust? And if the broth were not a rich, beefy sauce but instead a light and delicate vegetable broth? And eating this fabulous one-pot meal was not a retreat from the weather, but a celebration of the season? You get where we’re going with this, right?

Click here for the recipe.

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Pork Loin with Celery Root, Corn, and Shiitake Salad by Linda Zimmerman

The queen of the West Coast mixes things up with loads of variety in this savory seasonal dish.

Ever since the bygone days of youth, pork has gone hand in hand with applesauce. And from the months of September though January, when apples are pretty much the only consistent item at the farmers’ market, applesauce is the obvious accompaniment to pork. But now—need we say it again?—spring is here, and fresher, newer, more interesting vegetable accessories are what we’re craving. Fresh mushrooms are one of the hallmarks of spring, and here they’re prepared with elements of the season past and the season future, celery root and corn, and pair beautifully with a grilled pork loin.

Click here for the recipe.

Tapioca Pudding with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce by Janet Fletcher

Two dessert favorites that go hand in hand unite in this treat from a James Beard award winner.

When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand…pudding is the obvious place to turn. And not just any old pudding, but tapioca pudding, which has the creamy comfort that one expects from pudding and the chewy bits of tapioca that make the whole thing a good time. Served with a rich sauce of strawberries and rhubarb, this dish is not only pure coziness, but also a fantastic way to make the most of the fruits that the season is offering.

Click here for the recipe.

For more recipes, visit www.cookstr.com.

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