A lovely soup to take advantage of spring’s freshest new vegetables and to ward off the chill still in the air during the first warm days, this is a classic of the area in Canton Fribourg.  Since this comes from Gruyere country, it’s a natural choice of cheese for enriching the soup.

Makes about 4 to 6 servings


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large white onion cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick

3/4 cup peeled fresh fava beans or frozen peas

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered, and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 4-ounce package baby spinach, rinsed and shredded

2 cups meat stock or water

6 cups milk

Fine sea salt

1 cup elbow macaroni or other small pasta

1 small bunch chives, finely snipped

3/4 cup crème fraiche

4 ounces coarsely grated Gruyere

  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot with a cover and add the onion and carrots.  Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until they start to soften.
  2. Add the beans or peas, potatoes, and spinach and cook slowly until the spinach has wilted.
  3. Add the water or stock and milk and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer, add a little salt, and cook slowly until the vegetables are very soft and the potatoes have started to disintegrate and thicken the soup.
  4. Bring the soup back to a boil, taste for seasoning and add some salt if necessary, and add the pasta.  Cook, simmering, until the pasta is tender, adding a little more water if necessary.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, check the seasoning again, adding salt and pepper if necessary, and bring the soup to a boil.  Stir in the chives, cream, and Gruyere and serve the soup immediately.